Published by HarperTeen September 2011
Reviewed from ARC provided by the Publisher
Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy.
Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.
Today's Review is a guest post by a great friend and co-worker of mine- Jessie.
Jennifer Castle’s The Beginning of After, is a coming of age story about a girl dealing with the tragic deaths of her parents and younger brother. As Laurel, the main character, tries to deal with her grief and piece her life back together, she is drawn to the son of the man who was responsible for her losing her family. David is the typical bad boy who is trying to cope with his own pain and does not care who he hurts in the process. Eventually Laurel will have to decide whether she should let herself fall for David or if she should pick Joe, the sweet nice guy.
Slow moving but emotionally filled. This book will require Kleenex. Castle very accurately portrays a strong individual going through the grieving process and getting on with their life. I think anyone who has ever lost someone close to them will identify with this book. Her characters and settings were not very detailed but it perhaps allows more people to relate easier to the story. I was hoping for more in terms of plot and ending but it was still a good read. I think it would have also been great to have David’s perspective. Overall, I think this is a great book to recommend to anyone who feels a little sad, down on their luck or who has lost someone special.