Review: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

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.

Just going to start this review out and say if you are sensitive and prone to crying at everything, be ready. I am one of the biggest wimps there is and I was expecting it, but it still felt unexpected!

From the first line, I was hooked. The words are so lyrical and lovely. Castle captured grief so perfectly with each of the characters- while many of us haven’t experienced grief to this extent, the majority of us have lost someone we care about.

How can you not love Laurel? She’s this 16 year old girl who has just discovered her entire family is gone. She proves to be such an amazing character as she copes. I get why people started treating her differently and it’s definitely realistic, but it still really annoyed me. And poor David! His dad is in a coma and his mother is dead. He doesn’t really have anyone to turn to. Laurel at least had a great support system.

If you are a lover of contemporary fiction, specifically those dealing with tough issues this book is definitely one for you.

I received my review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Comments

  1. Ahh, I’ve wanted to read this one for a while. Maybe I should peruse it, esp. if the writing is as great as you say and the grief as real… Contemp. YA doesn’t work for me unless it’s authentic… Thanks for the review :) .

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