The Beginning of After, by Jennifer Castle

 3 Stars
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub Date: 08/17/2011
ISBN: 9780061985799
Genre : FICTION - JUVENILE: Family & Everyday Life: Family
About the book - 
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. Now, Laurel must navigate a new world 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.

My Review - 
This book was just OK for me. I wanted to give it more than 3 stars but just couldn't. It started slow and was kinda slow in spots all through-out. I got tired of reading it about half way through and just wanted to finish.  I think it might be because I have read so many books with this same story line and some of them really WOWed me and this one just didn't wow me. It should have been really sad, but I didn't shed a tear. I felt bad for Laurel, I liked her. I just didn't feel any emotional connection to her. I really liked David! I was wishing he was in the story more, then towards the end - he was! This kind of saved the story for me. I would love to read a follow up book just about David's life!

I am not saying this book was void of emotion, it wasn't. I, for some reason, just couldn't connect. I felt no connection to Nana or Meg, the best friend. And Joe, the pseudo boyfriend, I'm not sure I even liked.

This got some really good reviews from other people, and it would be a good book for teens, it is very clean.

Thank you Harper Collins and Netgalley for sending me this e-book to download on my nook!


  1. I also have a hard time giving a book the thumbs up when I can't connect with the characters, so I can understand your reservations with this one. And it does seem like this is a common plot for a lot of YA novels right now. I don't think this one is for me, but I do thank you for sharing your candid reactions to it with us!

  2. Sometimes, for whatever the reason connections just don't come. I experienced that in Secret Daughter with subject matter that should have really made my heart a soft target, but instead I felt no connection with the characters!! I thank you though for your thoughtful and honest insights into this book!!


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