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Monday, August 1, 2011

ARC Review: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Released: September 6, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA
Pre-Order Amazon | Book Depository

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.

What I thought

Such an emotional read! I knew going in it would be sad, but still found myself tearing up quite a bit. Such a well written account of two lives after tragedy strikes. Laurel was a strong character. Stronger than she ever gave herself credit for. I felt her grief, her anger, her fear.

The point of view was from Laurel, but Jennifer Castle also crafts into the story David's life as well, as he connected with Laurel. I liked how they didn't grieve the same way, that they each had two separate lives but somehow tangled together.

The story is complex. It was such a fun read, because lots of stuff was always happening but what was great about that was it all seemed to fit. Nothing seemed out of place or took away from the tragedy that made the story. I really do like the way it was written, it was written with a near flawless narration that made the words flow to the very end.

Really, I was just blown away with the story. I got lost in it and forgot about all that other stuff I should have been doing. This was kinda like popcorn. Once you start you can't stop until it's all gone! Definitely read worthy book. I will be waiting in line release day to get my hard copy!

My Rating

*Book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review*

Copyrighted 2010-2011 by Coffee Table Reviews. Use of all or any part of review is prohibited without consent, except use by authors/publishers.


Lisa said...

I love your popcorn analogy. This novel sounds extremely emotional but in a good way. It is one of those books I think I need to be in the right mood and prepare myself before I open it.

Liz. R said...

I've been seeing this one a lot, I really want to read it! I haven't read anything emotional in a while, and since you really enjoyed this, I think I'll have to give this one a go! Thanks for the review :).

Jessica S. said...

Great review! I've been looking forward to this one and am glad to see a review for it. It makes me want to read it even more! ^_^

Shirley @ My Bookshelf said...

The cover is beautiful and somewhat haunting, much like the story seems to be.

Peggy said...

I have seen this a few times, but wasn't sure if I would be into it. I might have to add it to my TBR list now!

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