Author: Jennifer Castle
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: ARC via Netgalley/HarperTeen
Hitting the Shelves: September 6, 2011
Anyone who's had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It's all about Before and After. When 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 many 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.
I had a really hard time getting though this book. It was kind of too long for a story that did not have much depth and I kept thinking to myself, "just end already." I'm not trying to say that it was a terrible book, but it was just slow and the same thing would happen again and again. Let me explain. Laurel's parents and brother die in a car accident along with her neighbor's mother and leaves his father in a coma. David, the neighbor, disappears right after the accident but he would come back to town, he would flirt with her and use her, making her think that he likes her and then he would leave. But it happened multiple times and it really bothered me. I just don't have patience for people like that.
I liked the concept of the Before and After and that when people go through a traumatic event, the divide their life into before it happened and then after it happened. I understand that she had to create a new reality for herself and deal with a terrible loss, but honestly, I was bored. Real life just bores me sometimes which is probably why I like paranormal and supernatural books better than contemporary fiction. It was just too sad and somber for me. I've read other reviews that were just raving and glowing, saying that it really struck a chord in them. But not me, not my type of book.
I do like the way the book dealt with grief. Usually, it's not something that you can go through alone and a counselor is always a good idea to help you get through anything difficult. I don't want to tell you how it ends so you're going to have to read the book to find out if she has a happily ever after.