by Jennifer Castle
Publication Date: September 6th, 2011
Where to Buy:
B&N | Amazon | The Book Depository
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. (Goodreads)
The main character in the story is Laurel. Poor Laurel, she went through so much, my heart just broke for her. I don’t know how I would have handled being in her situation. But she handles it better than I expected. While she did have her times dealing with depression and sadness, she still had a few snarky moments. The other main character is David. I found David to be quite an interesting character. Just when I thought he was a slacker, he did something to make me think differently. I still haven’t quite got him figured out, but I really did enjoy his character.
The secondary characters are very well written as well, I liked them all. Laurel’s Nana is the perfect grandma. I really liked Laurel’s best friend, Meg, as well. I think Ms. Castle did a wonderful job of describing the emotions of not just Laurel, but for all the characters in the book. I sympathized with Nana, and David, and also with Meg and Joe, who was Laurel’s friend/boyfriend.
The pacing in the book was a little bit slow, at times. I do think that made it build up the story, so it didn’t bother me. The storyline itself was very touching. I found myself wanting to keep reading, just to see what turn the story would take next.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I’m so glad to have had a chance to read it.