Release Date: Sept 6th, 2011 by HarperTeen
Details: 432 pages, hardcover
Series: Stand alone
Source: Publisher (Thank you HarperTeen!)
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.
o0.| My Thoughts |.0o
The Beginning of After is a slow paced novel that follows Laurel and her coming to terms with the loss of her family.
Laurel was easy to like. She's ambitious, she has a great and supportive family, and she's a good person. We don't get to spend much time with her family and getting to know them before the accident, but we do get to know them through Laurel and how she remembers them. Castle does a great job of making you feel the grief that Laurel felt every time something reminded her of her parents or her brother and you couldn't help but just ache with her.
I don't really know how to feel about David, I get that he's suffering too, just in his own way but what he said to Laurel after prom was just... wrong. But at the same time I couldn't help but feel sorry for the guy too.
Every scene with Masher got me. I'm such a sucker for dogs in books.
There's not much else to say without giving away the story, but it's a great read about a girl who goes through a traumatic experience and how she heals.