Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Young Adult: 432 Pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: September 6, 2011
Series: None
Source: Review copy from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon
Find the Author: Blog

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.

"It seemed like the only way to keep breathing was to focus on the here and now, moment by moment, keeping my mind frozen cold to anything else." - Laurel

I don't even know where to start with this review. From time to time you come across those books that you can't even describe into words. I'll try to do my best!

The Beginning of After really took me by surprise. Packed in it's 430 page package, lay a raw and emotional story. A story that hits to close to home a times, because although it's based on a fictional story and characters, dealing with death is a feeling we will all unfortunately deal with someday. Whether it's a loved one, a friend or even a pet, the pain is just as unbearable.

In other books I've read that are similar to this one, the character usually grieves immediately. In this character's case, Laurel kept everything pent up inside and that broke my heart. Although the pain wasn't being expressed in so many words, it radiated off the pages. I could feel how hurt, angry and alone she really was. A transformation in Laurel begins to unravel throughout the book, that changed by whole outlook on what this book was about. This book isn't your typical Young Adult novel when a character has to deal with a difficult situation. The Beginning of After is so much more than that. It is about Love, forgiveness and Self growth. Those are books that I truly cherish!

If your looking for a high climatic read, then this one probably isn't for you. But if your looking for a novel that will touch your heart and soul. A book you may relate too, or a book that will teach you something, then pick up The Beginning of After.

Be sure to stop by Wednesday, Sept 14th when Jennifer Castle stops by The Crazy Bookworm!
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5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great review. I've been on the fence with this one, but I don't (always) require a "high climactic read" -- so I'm putting this on the list. I've heard some reviews say that her grief isn't realistic, but I feel people grieve in many different ways, so what seems unrealistic to some, might be realistic depending on the person.

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  2. This sounds like a beautiful book and has actually been on my TBR list for a while now. I love reading books that are more focused on the characters and the emotional element of thier relationships rather than just being all about action so I think this would be a great fit for me! I loved your review.

    Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

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  3. Thank you for this review, sounds like a touching book.
    So want to read this one.

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  4. I have enjoyed the review and it seems to be an interesting story and I thank you for the update.

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  5. Maria Snyder is one of my favourite authors and I am so excited to read this.

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