Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mini Review: The Beginning of After

ISBN: 0061985791
Pages: 432

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.

Hello everyone! I planned to do this review such a long time ago and now I am finally doing it! Sorry for the major delay, but let's get into it!

This book was so beautifully written, I don't think I can express how amazing it was. Right from the start, you get caught up in Jennifer Castle's writing and become really connected with Laurel. Unlike Me Since You by Laura Weiss which I read around the same time, this takes no time getting to the bad part. You're instantly emerged in the pain and shock of Laurel's life. I feel like the abrupt entrance into Laurel's life "after" what happened makes the message of her family's tragedy seem more shocking and you are left there hanging with Laurel. I have to say that I felt it lacked a bit in displaying the grieving process as compared to Me Since You, but at the same time, it shows a complete different way to combat grief. While Rowan (from Me Since You) seemed to wallow around in her grief, Laurel was a bit more active in trying to fight it off. Don't get me wrong, she did take a while, but I didn't get nearly as frustrated with her as I did with Rowan. Moving on the topic of romance, I felt like it was a bit underdeveloped. A relationship with Joe sounded really good, but at the same time, I couldn't shake the feeling that his actions were done out of pity. At the same time, David was way too mysterious and elusive for me to really get to know him. I felt like it was a bit cliched to see two characters bond over grief and end up together and what bothered me most was that I barely knew David. Other than that, I highly recommend y'all read The Beginning of After! Like I said before, it's really beautifully written and I just really love Laurel as a character. The ending was super uplifting and just really really beautiful. 

“It seemed like the only way to keep breathing was to focus on the here and now, moment by moment, keeping my mind frozen cold to anything else.” 

“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.” 

“Then I closed my eyes.
That was it. That was Before. Now here we go into After.” 

“But if I can't change something, I don't waste energy on it.” 
4 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,


  1. Great review, i've heard mixed comments on this one... although I might give it a go now! Thank You.
    I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. You can find out more on my blog here.


    1. You should give it a try!! :) Omgawds thank you so much!! :D <33333