Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: The Beginning of After

The Beginning of After

Author: Jennifer Castle
Release: September 6, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen

  • The story: I really appreciated the journey that Laurel went on during this book. After the death of her family, she struggled to figure out how to move on. It was a story of acceptance and appreciation, of looking into yourself and finding a way to cope with unexpected tragedies. 
  • Laurel and David: Honestly, I don't think of them separately. For some reason, I can only think of them as one, probably because of what they go through in the book. But I loved their relationship. It was weird and awkward but it made sense and they truly grew together. Although they were perfectly capable of being individuals, I felt much more relaxed when they were together because they provided support and a weird sense of normality for each other. 
  • Connections: What I liked best about this book, was the way Laurel connected everything in her life to her deceased family. A picture here or a toy there, everything reminded her of them. Her pain felt so much more real because she still remembered them and found them in every aspect of her life. 
  • Ending: The most important thing for Laurel to find was closure. And she did find it. She confronted the root of her problems right down to the core with the help of her family and friends. The way she did it was understandable, if not ethical. 
  • Balance: While I truly felt for Laurel and understood her position, I think the book needed more balance. It was quite a depressing, heartfelt read. With books like these, I like to have moments of happiness or the like to lighten the mood.
To Sum It Up
  • Sincere story about loss, tragedy, and acceptance.
  • Heartbreaking characters that support one another and the readers as well. 
Thanks a bunch, Netgalley! 
2011 YA Contemp Challenge: 13/13 THAT'S RIGHT. OWNED. 


Christy @TheReaderBee said...

I am really looking forward to starting this book. It sounds like an interesting read. Great review!!

Liz. R said...

Aw, the relationship between Laurel and David sounds like it's be a great one to read about! Glad you enjoyed this - I'll have to keep an eye out for it! Great review, thanks :).

The Story Queen said...


I've started this one (about 1/5th in) and I'm really interested to read more now! Especially that part about Laurel and David since not much has happened between the two of them at this point. Glad you liked it!

T.B. said...

I just finished this one last night. I agree, Laurel and David are like one entity, and they go so well together. I think all they've been through really helped with that. The ending was fantastic, and I love how Jennifer Castle really tied in the title of the book. Great review, and congrats on finishing your challenge :)

Rachel Brooks said...

Thanks for the review! It sounds like a good book, but I agree with you that I'd prefer it to have more balance.

Also, I’m a new follower— wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :)

Brodie said...


This sounds really good! I really like the way you describe teh relationship and the journey seems like an emotional one! Can't wait to get my hands on this, great review!

Braiden said...

I put this book down just past 100 pages. I don’t know what I’m missing to see people liking the book so much. I thought she moved on awfully fast from this event and I would’ve liked to see emotional turmoil instead of seeing her go out to the prom and date a boy ‘to’ move on. And there was heaps of unnecessary writing. At least these are my thoughts heh.

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