Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Revew - The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

The Beginning of AfterTitle: The Beginning of After 
Author: Jennifer Castle
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 432
Published: September 6, 2011 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780061985799
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: 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.

I Give This ...

I always have a hard time rating books that I liked but I just wasn't enthralled with.  While, the story line was great and I think it was well written, I don't think I was in the mood for such a heavy story.
Poor Laurel!  What a devastating way to loose your family.  I think she tries really hard to put on the brave face and just get on with her life.  But, she's not even admitting to herself how much pain she is in.  I think once she admits that, she's afraid she might have a complete breakdown.  While I was still sad to see that breakdown come (and especially at the moment it did), I was expecting it.  I think this kind of loss is hard to go through on your own without working through your feelings.   Especially when so many of your feeling surround the "what if" game and your own mixed up feelings about the other family affected by the tragedy.

I like how Laurel comes to terms with her family's death.  She goes through everything that I expected of her.  I loved when she broke down and admitted she needed help.  I loved watching her build herself back up and continue on with the things she would have done had her family still been alive.  I especially loved watching her struggle with her own feelings for David.  I sometimes wished she would just move on from David, I understood her dran to him.  They have something in common that most people won't ever experience.  And while I thought David was sometimes an ass, I knew he was dealing with the death of his mother and his own father's involvement in the only way he knows how.  I think he's also trying to keep himself from leaning on Laurel too much.  

I admired the story for the emotions it takes you through.  But, at the end I just didn't like it as much as I had hoped.  I think it was just too emotional of a subject matter for me at the time.  I think many will like it though!

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