The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

“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.”

Publisher: Harperteen

Publish Date: September 6, 2011

Received: Netgalley with permission from publisher

Purchase a Copy: Amazon

Goodreads Blurb:

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.

My Review:

The sadness…….

It has been awhile since I have read a book that made me get this teary eyed. I was saddened to read of Lauren’s struggles surrounding her families deaths. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to lose everyone at one time. The writer did a wonderful job at conveying the characters thoughts, feelings and actions.

The characters….

Anyone that has been reading my reviews for a while knows that I am a sucker for the bad boys in books. So, of course, my favorite was David. I knew right from the start that Joe did not seem right for Lauren. I liked the relationship she had with David. It was a relationship but yet it wasn’t.  It was heart wrenching each time David would leave and I felt a pang relief when he would reappear!

In Conclusion…..

I am happy that I was given the opportunity to read this book. It gave me the insight as to what goes on in the minds of loved ones during a huge tragedy. I believe that the book conveyed the feelings and thoughts exceptionally. I enjoyed the ending when Lauren finally starts to figure out what she wants and whom she wants. It was like she just came out of a fog and opened her eyes for the first time and everything seemed brighter!




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