The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

593ce7_bd097e85ea546db2ceb134702d48200d.jpg_srz_123_183_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz“That’s the whole thing about grieving… It’s part of the deal: You get to be alive and to love, but in exchange you also have to put in some serious hurt time.”

Sixteen-year-old Laurel narrowly misses a fatal car accident because she has to go home and study for her next exam. Unfortunately, the accident that she narrowly missed is the one that killed both her parents and her younger brother as well as the mother of bad-boy friend David Kaufman. In the days and months following the accident, Laurel learns to cope with her grief by making her life has a normal as possible by going back to school, writing exams, and potentially starting new relationships. Through all of these experiences, Laurel manages to slowly fall for David and realize that she needs him in her life just as much as he needs her in his life.

Laurel just lost her family and it was for this reason that I expected the book to be highly emotional and full of teenage angst. My expectations were not met in that regard. Laurel handles her grief with a very mature attitude. Instead of just giving up on life, Laurel continues her life after her family died so suddenly. It was as if the death just happened and life continues right along. What surprised me in this book was the love triangle between Laurel, David, and Joe. I would have liked to see more of David as a character and thought he was more a figment of my imagination then anything else. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed with the book and was rather pleased with how Castle handled both the love story and the grieving processes of Laurel and David. I would recommend this book to young adults who are ready to continue on after someone has passed away. The book is not highly emotional and just deals with death as a fact of life.

To read a review, click here and here!

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