The Beginning of After

The Beginning of After

by Jennifer Castle

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061985805
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/16/2013
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 718,841
Product dimensions: 5.42(w) x 7.86(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jennifer Castle's first novel, The Beginning of After, was named an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and a Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" Book. She wrote many unproduced movie and TV scripts before returning to her first love, fiction . . . but she's still hooked on film and the way we can find and tell our stories with images. She lives with her family in New York's Hudson Valley.

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Beginning of After 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 124 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of those books you can truly lose yourself in! Loved the characters. The emotion was very raw and real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When im reading it I picture me being Laurel which makes me more sad because I put myself in her shoes. Its a touching story and I cant put the book down. Occasionally i find myself reading random pages near the end bc im not pacient enough to wait for all the good stuff in the end. Haha. Love this book and i love the cover<3 Buy the book!! It has some romance.. like cute scenes with Joe.. at the end she and David do some stuff.. haha its a great sad life changing book.
Jenny_Geek More than 1 year ago
The most important thing to know about this book: HAVE TISSUES READY! Seriously, some parts of this book I was crying so hard I could barely see the words (I'm really glad I was home alone when I read this, otherwise my husband would have wondered why I was bawling in front of my ereader). The way Laurel's grief is written, so resonated with me and brought me back to when I was going through all the grieving over losing my grandmother. It's so real and so raw and I appreciated that the author kept it that way throughout the course of the book. It's true that when someone passes that it feels like life stops, which is how Laurel feels. She struggles with the concept that even though people die, life still moves forward. I felt like I really connected with Laurel through this story, which is why I cried so hard. She's young and having to deal with something no one should have to go through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very realistic. It was also extremly sad. I only had two complaints with it, the main character was extremly intelligent as are ALL the heroines in this type of book. Average girls have bad things happen to them also and second, the exact cause of the accident is left up in the air. I could not quit reading this book. I had to know how it ended. It took me all night to finish it. It is about 400 pages long and is well edited. No sex, violence other than a car accident or cursing. There is a lot of confusion about growing up and making choices during times of extreme hardship. I usually avoid this type of pathos like the plague. I like to feel good after reading a book. This book is about a young Jewish girl losing her family in a car accident. For readers 14 and up. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book it was amazing. Couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great, moving story that can truly mean a lot to anyone who has suffered loss in their life. It's a little slow at the end, but it is an amazing book. Laurel is just so strong and inspiring. I reccommend this to anyone. Especially if you're a fan of Sarah Dessen books, you'll love this.
Kimmiepoppins More than 1 year ago
Just the flap copy for this book sends chills up my spine. I want to believe that this story is all fiction, but I know better, there are kernels of horrific truth woven between the pages. Things like this and worse happen in life and I find that I'm drawn to these stories because they are the safest place that I can dance with my fears. THE BEGINNING OF AFTER is a lighter, dark book and I mean this as a compliment. The death of a family is not an easy subject to tackle, but Castle does it with honesty and optimism. Here are the words that I would use to describe this story verses what I often feel when I read darker, edgier themes. TBoA has... responsibility instead of blame survivors instead of victims consequences instead of carnage depth instead of hype Despite this, in-your-face topic, TBoA is a quiet book, where characters don't grow with a twisting and turning plot line--they develop and change at a realistic pace. They don't always make good decisions, but they never make &quot;wrong&quot; ones, because you have the time to deeply know what they are feeling and where they are coming from. And the ending was perfect, because it wasn't too perfect, making it just right. I loved THE BEGINNING OF AFTER and I can't wait to read Castle's next book.
AnnaKay21 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I actually liked this book better than 'If I Stay' because it was less existential and more correct at hitting its mark.
DamarisGCR on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I don¿t know why I love books that make me cry so much. They leave me a little depressed afterward, but I just can¿t help but love them! The Beginning of After had tears in my eyes almost every chapter. Maybe it¿s because I am still dealing with my mother¿s death, but I can relate to David and Laurel one hundred percent. The story is told from Laurel¿s point of view and I found myself thinking that everything they felt and went through, was everything I had experienced. The only difference was that they lost more than a mother. It only took one night to turn David and Laurel¿s life upside down. Both families were together having dinner at David¿s house when they all decided to go out for ice cream. Laurel skipped on ice cream and went home to study and David went to a friend¿s house instead. Then a little while later a cop knocks on door with the horrible news. I feel like crying writing this review just remembering everything she felt at that moment. Laurel was very easy to relate too. Despite everything that has just happened to her, she is still standing and trying to move forward with her life. There are times in the book where she struggles to do this, but in the end she was strong. David deals with his pain in a whole other way. They were very alike, but David¿s way was to travel and not let anyone really close to him. I really liked both characters and feel that they were very believable. The only thing I would have liked was a little more romance between the two. It was cute reading e-mails back and forth and reading how their love developed, but I would have liked their romance better if they spent more time together and discovered each other more. Jennifer Castle did a number on me. She brought out so many tears and made me smile at the same time. This was one emotional rollercoaster with a good ending. David and Laurel both learned what ¿Love and Let Go¿ meant. If Jennifer Castle¿s books are anything like this one, I am definitely buying them. A MUST READ!4 out of 5 Stars!
thehidingspot on LibraryThing 8 months ago
It isn't often that a book makes me cry. The few that have are those that have heartbreaking conclusions. THE BEGINNING OF AFTER had me sobbing right from the start. And not just one time...Wow. What an intense debut novel. Comparisons have been made between the author and Sarah Dessen and , though I'm a huge fan of Dessen's work, I felt Castle's writing had a slightly different feel... almost like Castle's writing had more emotional depth. Much of this was subtle; one carefully chosen word would make my breath catch and eyes water.I love a book with a good romantic story line, but I'm not sure I'd say that this is a characteristic that clearly identifies this book. The main character does have romantic counterparts, but they aren't a main focus - which makes sense. After all, Laurel has just lost her family... She's got a lot more going on than whether or not a boy likes her. Sure, she still thinks about it, but there are other things that require her attention as well. So, while I usually prefer my novels to have romance, I actually liked the fact that it wasn't a focus in THE BEGINNING OF AFTER... I don't think it would have been fitting at all.I'll be reading subsequent novels by Jennifer Castle... She's definitely a new contemporary YA voice to watch.
angelgirl122193 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
THE BEGINNING OF AFTER is a breathtakingly honest and heartfelt story that is sure to pull on your heart strings. It is more than a story about loss. It is about healing and coming to terms with life after a terrible tragedy. While the story mostly consists of sorrow and depression, there are still parts that are hopeful and touching. If you are looking for an authentic contemporary novel, THE BEGINNING OF AFTER is the book for you!Laurel is a very unique heroine in YA in that she has to deal with something way more awful and serious than having boy problems. She must come to terms with the fact that her parents and her brother are gone and attempt to move on in her life and find happiness. It is not an easy journey alongside Laurel, as she suffers with her depression and anger throughout most of the novel, but it made me feel so happy when she finally picked herself up and began her journey to recovery.While the synopsis makes it seem as if her "relationship" with David is the main focus of the story, let me tell you that it really isn't. Laurel isn't at all focused on finding love and doesn't expect anything to happen with David, especially when it does. She wants to get through school and try to heal from the deaths of her close family. The relationship between her and David is so complicated. It starts out slow and really isn't even a friendship, but through their emails and one-on-one interactions with each other, they discover something beautiful and fragile.While I enjoyed THE BEGINNING OF AFTER for the most part, I did have a few problems. At times the story lagged a bit and it was hard for me to want to keep reading. Also, Laurel got a bit annoying at times and I had a hard time understanding where she was coming from. I get that she suffered so much, but I just got so mad at her during some scenes!THE BEGINNING OF AFTER is a shockingly real and gratifying novel that fans of contemporary will love! Don't hesitate to pick it up when it releases.
allureofbooks on LibraryThing 8 months ago
As soon as I saw that The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle was available on NetGalley, I requested it. As soon as I got the go-ahead, I downloaded it and read it in one sitting. It was incredible! A very character-driven, emotional and wonderfully written story.Laurel is a teenage girl who has to deal with the loss of her entire family. Her neighbors were also in the car - her old friend David's father was the driver. Although he lived (in a coma), David's mother also died in the wreck. Laurel struggles with guilt over not being in the car, blame that David's dad might have been drunk and the grief of suddenly finding herself alone. (FYI - don't worry that I just spoiled the entire book for you or anything. Most of this is in the synopsis, and it all happens at the very beginning.)A lot of books that deal with loss are hard to connect to. The author has to be a very gifted writer in order to make emotions feel genuine. Well y'all, I don't think I've ever seen it done better than Jennifer does with this story. Laurel's path, from the initial shock on through, was incredible. I can't even try to count how many times I teared up while reading. All the feelings: anger, betrayal, guilt, grief, are so believable, I felt like I was reading a friend's diary.One of the best things was Jennifer's ability to portray Laurel's thought process. You guys know how, when you walk into a room, your eyes pick up on something random (like a knick-knack, piece of furniture, whatever it may be) and it makes you think of some story from your past that isn't even necessarily directly related to whatever you're looking at? (Say you look at a random shoe and it reminds you of the time you played basketball with your brother over ten years ago.) This happens to Laurel fairly often - she'll see something that reminds her of a specific memory of her family. Every single time it happened I felt like crying. Incredibly realistic and poignant.David and Laurel's interactions are also very realistic. Awkward and angry at first...it morphs into a tentative friendship since no one else can relate to them like they can to each other. As they become closer, their chemistry becomes harder to ignore. I know I'm being repetitive here - but I really can't emphasize enough that the characterization in this book is incredible. David and Laurel's personalities are both explored at length and they are both far from perfect. They make a lot of mistakes with each other that make their story seem even more genuine.I know there are a lot of contemporary young adult books that deal with grief and loss, but I can promise you that this book feels nothing like a tired plot line. This is easily as good as - or better than - others like it. Even if you don't normally enjoy melancholy/tragic reads, I still highly recommend giving this a try. If you are a fan of books like this, prepare to have a new favorite! With only one book, Jennifer Castle has made my must-read-author list.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I¿ve been in such a melancholy funk lately ¿ I go through these stages where I need to read about tragedy and redemption, life moving on, just to feel as if I¿m not the only one out there feeling these moments of sorrow and pain and to remind myself that there is worse and that I really am not all that bad off.So with that in mind, it¿s inevitable that I¿d gravitate toward The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle ¿ the story of a girl with two parents and a younger brother all taken from her in the blink of an eye. Laurel is a Junior in high school at the time of the accident and she has to struggle.There are things I loved in this book. I thought the portrayal of her grief stages, of her wants, wishes and eventual acceptance were very realistic and portrayed well. I felt for her, but it was hard to really feel moved for her because, in spite of it all, she still had so much and was so self-centered through it all. She was not the only one affected by the accident, but it takes quite some time before she is even able to acknowledge that and¿ honestly, when a girl has to choose between ivy league schools and maintains a high GPA through a tragedy of this level, it just gets a bit unrealistic. That was the part that turned me off ¿ that in spite of this crippling event, she still manages to live a life that most of us would have loved to have.Don¿t get me wrong, a love a good ¿happily ever after¿, but sometimes it¿s too much and in the case of this story, it came off that way. It wasn¿t as bad as it could have been, and was saved from being terrible with some fantastic writing and character building on the secondary characters, but still ¿ I admit to rolling my eyes more than feeling as if I wanted to shed a tear.Still, The Beginning of After is a worthwhile read and I read it easily in an afternoon sitting. I¿d highly recommend supplementing it with Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver or even something by Elizabeth Musser.
summerskris on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I don't want to imagine what it's like to lose your entire family in an accident. To see them laughing and joking around one day and have it taken away from me the next. It's impossible to imagine life without them. Laurel has to go through this last. Scariest of all, she's so relatable. I've stayed home many times (sometimes to study, sometimes to finish a book) while my family went out. Any one of those times, something could have happened, and I would have ended up in Laurel's position, which is one of the many reasons I was so fascinated with her story.There are books that I rush through the first time I read them, eager to find out what happens next. There are books that I read at a slow pace, maybe a chapter or two a day over a wide time frame because I'm so (sometimes grossly) fascinated by them that I need time away from the book. Then there are books like The Beginning of After that I stayed up reading because I had to know what was going to happen to Laurel, but I didn't want to rush myself either.Castle has chosen a difficult subject to write about. There is so much emotion wrought into The Beginning of After that there is a fine line between portraying Laurel's depression with accuracy and alienating the reader. Castle has succeeded in conveying Laurel's grief over her family members' deaths without losing the reader's interest.Laurel is a good girl. She works hard at her studies and strives to meet her parents' expectations even after their death. It's all she has left besides her grandma, and it's perfectly understandable, so understandable that my heart ached along with Laurel's. I was so happy when Laurel found the Ashland animal hospital. It gives her a place where she could act normal; more than that, it gives her a place where she feels like she is doing something. She is helping animals. I love animals myself and can relate with how Masher and the cats play a role in cheering Laurel in her otherwise bleak life.The romance was beautifully wrought as well. It took its time playing out: it didn't take place spontaneously; it was real. I understand Laurel's desire for the safe relationship she sees in Joe, the one that her best friend wants her to take. At the same time, we see Laurel's dangerous attraction to David, the one who knows what she's going through. The one that doesn't regard her as a superhero or someone to be pitied.In The Beginning of After Jennifer Castle delivers a powerful, emotion-charged debut novel on a difficult topic, giving us insight into life after losing one's family. More than a story of loss, The Beginning of After is about picking up the pieces of your life after a tragedy; it is about friendship and love; it is about finding your place in life. I laughed and I cried. There was so much voice and character in this novel. I really enjoyed reading The Beginning of After, and I look forward to more works by Jennifer Castle!
stephxsu on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Laurel¿s life shatters when she loses her entire family in a car accident. As she struggles to move on while trying to figure out where her grief¿or other people¿s knowledge of her tragedy¿fits in, David, the boy-next-door whose parents were also involved in the same accident, seems to move in and out of her life. Tragedy separates the two with a seemingly uncrossable chasm, and yet maybe they need one another above all in their different, yet mutual, grief.Oh, this book. Sigh. In the beginning I had no interest in reading yet another YA contemporary talking about grieving the death of family members. There¿s really, truly only so much I can read about grief plots. But then, inspired by high praise from early reviewers, I was convinced to give THE BEGINNING OF AFTER a shot¿only to wish, after a long and drawn-out struggle, that I had just stuck with my original instincts. To give credit where credit is due, I actually quite admire what THE BEGINNING OF AFTER attempted to do, and that is to talk about the less sympathetic aspects of grief. Meaning: When strangers learn of your tragedy and offer to do you favors, do you accept or reject? When classmates start paying more attention to you as a result, how do you react? I admire that Jennifer Castle unflinchingly let Laurel explore these unappealing and perhaps even shocking aspects of losing loved ones, because it¿s the truth: tragedy is tragedy, but tragedy in some cases is also opportunity, and we¿d be willingly blindfolding ourselves if we don¿t acknowledge that.However, I forced myself to get to the halfway point before I finally had to knowledge that absolutely nothing relevant to the premise has happened yet. The first half of the book is such a trove of Things to Avoid When Writing Yet Another YA Novel About Grief: popular girls approaching the MC, formerly uninterested guys approaching the MC, former best friend drifting away, etc. You might ask, where¿s David? as the very idea of him begins to seem far more interesting than reading about every single minute detail of Laurel¿s life. Well, you see, that¿s a very good question. Because for the first half of the book, David¿s mostly on the other side of the country. How¿s that for plot and character development?!Readers, I¿m done. Maybe the second half of this overly long book has some merit, but if you¿ve given me a 400-plus page book in which approximately 150 of the first 200 pages could be condensed into three chapters, I¿m going to hand it write back to you and tell you to do some heavy rethinking in terms of revisions before you ask me to take it seriously.
amusingmother on LibraryThing 8 months ago
My take: I was hesitant to read this book because I am one of the very few people who absolutely hated If I Stay. I hated the story, not the writing. Yet I loved Where She Went which led me to wonder how I would react to this book. Would it feel contrived or would it offer something of substance which is what I thought the first book lacked. I found this story to be substantial and well worth the read.The protagonist is 16 year old Laurel who bowed out of celebrating Seder dessert. Ever the good girl, she wanted to brush up on her SAT studies. Her antithesis is David who is also a high school student, a former friend turned rebel without a cause. He bowed out to tick his parents off. So Laurel's and David's parents along with Laurel's 13 year old brother drive off for ice cream, leaving their teens home to greet the police officer who comes to their doors to inform them of the horrible accident. Laurel's family is wiped out. David's mother died while David's father, the driver, is comatose.The story details the brutal process of figuring out what comes next. Laurel's grandmother relocates to raise Laurel. Laurel slugs along through her grieving process, tries to return to school but breaks down. She struggles to stay on track while balancing her grieving, her anger, and her own development and dealing with the pity of others. Meanwhile, David's father is placed in long term care and David chooses to disappear. David shows up every so often and he and Laurel forge a relationship that bothered me because it wasn't textbook or storybook. It was real. There is guilt, pain, a shared childhood, rage, love, and a myriad of emotions and then David would disappear again.Laurel's character is so well developed, as is her grandmother's and her grandmother's grief which is nearly forgotten by Laurel. They deal with the memories, the objects that need to be cleaned out, the clothes, Laurel's senior year, the looks of pity, the relationships formed of pity, the healing and the conclusion.What I liked best about the book is that it is not neat and pretty. The loss is still a loss. Time is marked by "Before" and "After" but the year following is a different passage of time. It's not quite "after" but the time where the survivors piece together what is left and make as much sense of their life as they can. Laurel slugs through while David runs away. Eventually both characters find equilibrium for themselves in different ways.Language: mildSex: lightly implied but some pettingDialogue: mildI'd let my 16 year old read it.
Strawberryreviews on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I'm going to start with what I didn't like because there were a couple things. One thing was the over the top chat speak during their text messages. I mean that is such a minor thing that I probably shouldn't even bring it up but I just couldn't helped but be irked whenever there was a text message with every vowel removed from every word. They looked like text messages from 12 year olds who were trying too hard. But as I said, I'm just really nitpicky.On the topic of being realistic, there were a couple more things that bothered me about this book. At first, Laurel was really upset about her parents dying and you could really feel for her but then I feel like her focus shifted to boys. I really thought Laurel was a relatable character until she went back to school. I also don't really understand the point of introducing Joe. Was a love triangle actually necessary in this book? Especially one where you know who she is going to end up with no doubt about it. One thing that I did consider somewhat understandable was Laurel's decision not to tell the people who she worked with at the vet about her parents dying. Just having one place where people didn't treat her differently is completely understandable. I kind of liked all animal parts of it as well. I'm an animal person so I enjoyed it.This book is quite sad even though it ends on a good note. I was really happy with the ending. It is different than a lot of books I have read lately. So because I liked the ending and for the first 10 or so chapters, I really enjoyed it, I think it deserves 3 stars but I can't really recommend it. I'm not going to say AVOID it but it really wasn't one of my favorites.
ahappybooker on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I can only describe The Beginning of After as a softly powerful account of how one teenage girl survives a terrible loss. This book is beautifully written and uncomfortably insightful. I felt as if I was listening to the main character, Laurel's private thoughts and feelings as she faced an unimaginable tragedy with the sudden loss of her family. The author paints a vivid and intuitive portrait of a teen trying to cope with this profound loss while also dealing with normal teen situations like prom, SAT's, and relationships.David was suffering from a similar loss as his family was also involved in the crash that killed Laurel's family. The dynamic between Laurel and David was fascinating to witness. Both suffering from rage, guilt, sorrow, and unbelievable grief, they were alternately drawn to one another, yet unsure of each other. Watching how David struggled to cope with everything made my heart break for him.The Beginning of After is a wonderful novel that travels through the lowest points of sorrow and leaves the reader with a feeling of hope. I highly recommend this for all ages.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book is not what I expected but I really loved it. It made my heart wrench and cry. I yearn for happiness, some kind of peace when I was reading this. Lots of great writing, with amazing characters, I took the road to a long heartache just beginning to heal.What I like most about this book is the characters. Especially the main characters Laurel. I like that the author is able to project the feelings and emotions of this girl. As the reader explores Laurel's world, you fall into her shoes feeling feeling anger, envy, hurt, and mostly rage. I loved that Ms. Castle wrote the characters with so many flaw that you can relate to the characters. Laurel goes through what any other normal person would go through. Loss is not an easy thing to get over.What I adored about this book is the healing process that Laurel goes through. Healing takes time, but she did it. She began to heal and love again. She learn to moved on with her life and start a new one. I can't express how much I adored the healing process of both Laurel and David. David is one character that I thought about as well. He too, went through a traumatic experience. I am glad that he had people he can go to in his time of need.The love interest was expected but I love it. I love how scared they were in the beginning to acknowledge their feelings. I liked how they slowly open up to each other and began trusting again. Their love is based in a trust, a long friendship that is good and pure.An absolutely heart breaking read, I cried. Not a lot, but cried of sadness and of happiness. Ms. Castle did a wonderful job in writing this book with amazing characters. So much details in feelings, places, and the characters themselves, that it comes to life and goes right to your heart! I adored this debut and can't wait to read what she writes next!
booktwirps on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Laurel has a lot going for her. She¿s a good student, studying for her SAT¿s and wondering if she¿ll be asked to prom. This all changes one spring night. After having dinner with the neighbors, Laurel goes home to do some more studying while her parents and little brother pile into their neighbor¿s new hybrid SUV to go for ice-cream. A short time later the police are knocking on Laurel¿s door. There was an accident and everyone except the driver was killed. Soon Laurel finds herself trying to deal with the aftermath of the accident. Her grandmother moves in with her to help her adjust, but how can you move on when you¿ve lost everything? To make matters worse, David, the neighbor¿s son who also stayed home when the families went out, is dealing with the loss of his mother and the fact that his father may never wake up from the coma. As Laurel deals with her own pain and tries to put her life back together, she finds herself being drawn to David, despite the fact she feels so much anger and hatred toward his father for taking her family from her.This one is really hard for me to review. I didn¿t love it, but I didn¿t hate it either. It was just okay for me. I¿ve read some very powerful contemporary YA the last few months, all of which packed a heavy punch (ie: Clean and Ordinary Beauty to name a few). I had high hopes for this one, but it didn¿t quite measure up. Ms. Castle is a great writer, and the book has an engaging, heart breaking premise. I could relate to Laurel and her grief, though I questioned some of her choices. I think my biggest problem was that I didn¿t care for David. He just didn¿t appeal to me, and I wanted Meg, the best friend, to be more involved. I also wanted more for the character of Joe. For the most part I enjoyed this book, but it didn¿t quite have the emotional punch, or the deep character development I was hoping for.(Review based on an Advanced Reader¿s Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley)
jacindahinten on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I was excited to read The Beginning of After. I¿m not sure why I was excited to read it¿maybe it was the hype or maybe it was the cover. All of that stuff doesn¿t really matter, but when I read the first sentence:Anyone who¿s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It¿s all about Before and After.This line was my favorite of the book and the highlight of it all. After this line it was difficult to get into the story. I almost put it down at around 50 pages, but I told myself I needed to read more of the story and hopefully everything would click. I finished reading it, but that ¿click¿ I was looking for never came. I was reading The Beginning of After not because I was enjoying it, but just because I wanted to finish it¿nothing more.I didn¿t connect with anything in The Beginning of After. Our story teller, Laurel, I didn¿t sympathize with¿I didn¿t cry once for her and the grief she was in for her family¿Laurel didn¿t have much grief over it all anyway. The romance that culminated during the pages seemed forced and I didn¿t understand why they liked each other and where these feelings came from. I understand these character¿s grew up together, but¿I just didn¿t get it.The writing itself didn¿t stand out to me. The story of ¿my family is all dead¿ has been done before of course. I was hoping for another emotional tale on this topic or a story that stood out¿I can easily forget this story, while reading it I couldn¿t even remember the main character¿s name. That is sad, I know and I feel horrible for even saying it.The only part of the book I did like¿the animals. I know this sounds horrible of me, but I really enjoyed the talk about the dogs, kittens, and Laurels job.
GreatImaginations on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Okay, so here's the deal. I think The Beginning of After is a totally polarizing book. I've been watching reviews and it's really putting people on one side or the other. Either you love it or you hate it. And I can kind of see why. The characters are completely flawed and not very likeable. Brooke is selfish and she does a couple of jerky things in the story that made me not really like her all that much. And there's David. He's even worse. I get that he lost his mom, but he abandons his dog at Brooke's house and just leaves his dad in a coma in the hospital to travel around the country. Then he leads Brooke on and totally takes advantage of Nana's kindness and nobody tells him he is being a butthead. He was a HUGE jerk. And yet, I felt the author didn't feel that he was. That somehow all of his actions were vindicated by the losses he had suffered through. And that's total crap. Just because you lost someone, that doesn't give you a free pass to treat everybody else in your life like they are chopped liver. And anyone that has ever suffered a loss should know this. So I really thought the two of them were just frustrating as all get out. Then there is this one part in the book toward the end where Brooke does something completely unforgivable that has to do with David's dad. And apart from other characters being mad for a few minutes, she gets off completely scott-free with a lousy explanation from the author as to why. And that ticked me off too. In spite of all this though, I really enjoyed what I was reading. I thought it was a great story about healing and slowly moving on with your life after a tragedy. I know a lot of readers didn't feel connected to the characters and I can see why. I am an extremely emotional person, but I didn't cry at any point during this book, and considering the subject matter, I should have. But I did relate to a lot of what went on, and I thought it was a pretty decent story. I really enjoyed the tone of the book and sometimes I think it's okay to wrote a book with unlikeable characters. It's not common in young adult literature, and I think maybe that's why people got thrown off. It was different. I liked it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutly loved this book! I want another one to come out to follow up laurels story during college. I think everyone should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book. Very well written with a great story line. I couldn't put this book down & read it in just two days. I can't wait to read more by Jennifer Castle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But was really sad when it ended. I hope there will be a part 2 to this series with this couple.