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.
Fans of Gayle Forman’s “IF I STAY,” will love Jennifer Castle’s “THE BEGINNING OF AFTER.”
It’s Passover Seder, Laurel Meisner and her family are celebrating with their neighbors, the Kaufman’s. David, just a year older than Laurel, will be in attendance, making Laurel a bit nervous. It’s not that she crushes on him, but more so because he’s mysterious and sometimes just plain hostile. However, Laurel isn’t the only one who doesn’t want to celebrate Passover. Naturally, her brother Toby would rather hang out and play Xbox instead of dressing up like a geek.
Just after dinner, Laurel’s brother and parents go for ice cream with Mr. and Mrs. Kaufman. This is when disaster strikes — Laurel’s world is turned completely upside down when she learns that her family is never coming back. Mr. Kaufman was drunk and got into a terrible accident. Laurel’s entire family as well as Mrs. Kaufman died at the scene of the accident, and Mr. Kaufman was left in a coma. Only David and Laurel, whom both remained home that evening are left alive and unharmed.
Now orphaned, Laurel tries to piece her fragmented life back together. To mask her pain and longing, she surrounds herself with her best friend Megan and the boy who has a crush on her, Joe. For awhile things seem ok… that is until David reappears in her life.
David, became a lost soul after the devastating loss of his mother. At the same time he is forced to deal with his father, still lying in a coma. He doesn’t know how to cope with the accusations that his father is an alcoholic and a murderer, so he leaves town, his dog, Masher, and Laurel behind.
Laurel struggles throughout the story with the death of her family. Her anguish and tears are truly heartbreaking. With each milestone that Laurel achieves, she is reminded of her grief by flashback conversations with her parents.
All the while, Laurel and David’s relationship faces strain. It is a constant battle of confused feelings and helplessness. Laurel wants David to open up, but he has a hard time doing so, even though he keeps coming to her for comfort.
Laurel and David are characters that you will forever hold dearly in your heart. This is one book you don’t want to miss out on!
I am giving away a copy, if you’d like to enter click here.
“THE BEGINNING OF AFTER” will be in stores September 6th, pre-order your copy by clicking here!