August 3, 2011

Book Review: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

At First Sight: Once, Laurel had a perfectly normal, average life in the suburbs of New York, with her parents and little brother; until one night she loses them in one swift blow.

In the days, weeks and months after the car accident that killed them all, Laurel is struggling to put the pieces of her life back together. Her grandma has moved in, she's becoming a little distant from her best friend and everyone else is just giving her a free pass.

Though her grandma insists she talks to a grief councilor, Laurel finds herself unable to do so.  And oddly enough is only able to talk with David, the son of the man who killed her family.

David isn't dealing well with what happened, his mother died in the same accident as Laurel's parents and his father is in a deep coma. And, as he doesn't get along with his own grandparents, David keeps coming in and out of Laurel's life, particularly after Laurel decides to take care of his dog when David is away.

And in the long months that follow, Laurel and David find themselves attracted to each other, even though it's weird and she isn't sure he has forgiven his father. But, most of all, they struggle to find a new normal where they are not defined by the incredible loss and grief they share.

Second Glance: The Beginning of After the chronicle of how Laurel gets back on her feet after loosing her parents and little brother and how difficult it is to keep going after something so big and so bad has happened.

Over all, I thought it was a good story, and I liked Laurel over all. But I kind of thought the book was a bit repetitive and at times I felt like I read and read and read and I advanced very little. I really liked the parts when David was around because he seemed to be a catalyst for Laurel, but otherwise I felt kind of like I was going in circles.

Still, it was nicely written and the characters were likable

Bottom Line:Though it's not my favorite, The Beginning of After was a nice read, even if the pace was slower than I would like.

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