Wednesday 7 September 2011

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

For Review: Netgalley
Published: 6 September 2011

From Goodreads: 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.

As soon as I first heard about this one I was desperate to read it - it just sounded amazing - and something I would love.

The story is centered around Laurel and how her life changes dramatically when her parents and brother are killed in a car crash.  In an instant her life has completely changed..  Everything is now divided into Before and After as she tries to live her life without them..  Trying to process her grief and move on with her life, she finds herself having a strong connection with David.  He's grieving too as he lost his mother in the crash and his father was the one driving the car.  So they both understand what the other is going through. Will they be able to help each other?  And how do you move on from such a devastating loss?

I devoured this book.  It was so good I couldn't pull myself away from it.  I fell in love with all the characters - especially Laurel and David.  Laurel is likeable and honest, and obviously grieving.  She's desperately trying to live her life without the weight of what has happen crippling her but it's obviously a fine line.  She uses everyday things to maintain the balance -  to get her through the days.  David on the other hand spends most of his time running - seemingly unable to stay still.  The connection between the two really comes across - giving both characters something they can hold on to.

I loved Jennifer Castle's writing.  It's so easy to get lost in it.  It felt real - as if I was being given the opportunity to experience a slice of these characters lives. It made me cry and smile - a whole host of emotions.   It's so much more that just a typical story about loss and grieving.  It's a great debut and I highly recommend it.  I can't wait to read more books by this author.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...