Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Beginning of After

The Beginning of After
By Jennifer Castle
September 2011
Egalley (approx 432 pages)

Summary: After a family get together with her neighbours, Laurel decides not to go out with everyone, but rather stay in and catch up on homework. With that decision her life changes forever. Her parents, brother and her next door neighbour are killed in a tragic car accident. Now Laurel must struggle to live her life in the absence of those she loves and lean on David, whose father caused the accident.

Review: The Beginning of After focuses on the process of grief and the steps necessary to piece back together one’s life after such a tragic accident. The plot is slow moving, but the writing is rich and reflective. It doesn’t read as fast as similar books such as The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, but there is sweetness to the story that warrants the slower pacing. Castle does a great job at showcasing the highs and lows of moving on through believable and likeable characters. Lauren’s job at the vet provided an interesting twist and provided more depth as readers see how Lauren’s grief works itself out with the animals she cares for. David was a bit of a disappointment and I’m not sure readers will buy his relationship with Laurel. However, this doesn’t subtract from the book and those who enjoy “loss” books will enjoy Castle’s story.

This is Jennifer Castle’s first novel

If you liked The Beginning of After, you might also enjoy: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

Authors website: http://www.jennifercastle.com/home

Additional Info: Check out Jennifer’s thoughts on “Ya Fiction and ‘the death cliche’”

Writing: 3/4
Characters: 2.5/4
Plot: 3/4
Originality: 2.5/4
Popularity: 3/4
Cover: 4/4
Grade Level: JS


Midnight Bloom said...

I really enjoyed reading The Beginning of After and how animals were included in helping Laurel come to terms with her great loss. And the cover is gorgeous!

Cara said...

I'm very excited to read this one. have heard so many good things about it! thanks for the review. :)

Jo said...

Sounds like a good read!

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

I definitely really liked this one. I think it had a different enough tone and message to be unique.

Thanks for pointing out that blog post -- it's always interesting to hear the writer's thoughts like that. =)

Katie said...

Thanks for the comments, and yes the cover is AWESOME! :)

Register website said...

This sounds really cool! I'll have to check it out! Thanks for sharing :)
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