Monday, May 19, 2014

Review of: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

10429005The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Page Count(Hardcover Edition): 425 pgs
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: September 6th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Read: from 5/13/13 to 6/26/13
Source: Books-A-Million

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.

Jennifer Castle’s debut novel is a heart-wrenching, surprisingly witty testament to how drastically life can change in the span of a single moment
(from Goodreads)

The Beginning of After was truly it's title. After a horrible thing happens and it affects your family or friends, you have to start over again. I know, I've been there my share of times. This book perfectly navigated one girls' journey after her mother, father and brother were killed in a car accident.

One of the most important things this book taught me was how to be sad, how to grieve, which I think everyone needs to know how to do. If you don't grieve, you will never be able to get past something that has happened. But also, after grieving, you have to begin to grow from it. Laurel taught me that it is perfectly okay to feel bad for yourself when something awful happens. But she also taught me the importance of getting back up on your feet and persevering through life once again. Life is full of ups and downs, no matter how much we wish the downside's of life ceased to exist

I think the story line was brilliant. Bad boy neighbors-dad, Mr. Kaufman,  is responsible for the deaths of her family. He is comatose, but the only survivor of that night. I sympathized with Laurel as she began to come to terms with what has happened. She didn't know who to blame, herself for not saving the day, or Mr. Kaufman. David, his son, is also dealing with this car accident as his father is in critical condition. It was nice to see that Laurel didn't automatically shun him, whilst she didn't exactly invite him over for dinner as well. It took time for their relationship to grow, and I appreciated that! Not very fond of insta-loves!

On a happier note, I adore this cover! The actor perfectly resembles what I would have thought Laurel would have looked like. Plus, just the colors and design are gorgeous!

If you're looking for a deeper, emotional contemporary read focused on moving forward in life, this book is for you!


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