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.
Review: Minor Spoilers Below!!
This was a book that caught my eye when I first saw it. I loved the concept, because I had not read many non-paranormal books as of late. This novel really appealed to me because it seemed so real and raw from the description and when I received this book for review, I knew that I was in for a treat.
The cover of this book is beautiful. It demonstrates the emotions that Laurel might have felt after the accident. It shows her in grief, and how no matter what her setting, she could not stop thinking about the ruins of her life. The cover also makes me think of how she thought of all the what-ifs of the accident. On this cover I really like the font colour and the all around colour theme. I like it because it is not dark or black, but rather it features some colours that I see as hope in Laurel's future.
The characters in this book were very easy to fall for. I immediately fell for Laurel and her entire family, including the members she lost, in just a few pages. I really felt attached to Laurel's family after they died, just as she did. It was the characters that came later that I did not care for as much. They seemed more superficial than Megan, Laurel's best friend, was when she was established in the early pages of the book. As for Laurel, I liked her as a character and I found that I could relate with her, even though I have never been through what she has been through. And love interest wise, I was definitely Team David.
The story of The Beginning of After was good in theory, but I found it just did not deliver. I found some of the events to be a bit repetitive, such as when David would come back. An aspect of the story that I loved was that the book got going into the action very fast, and the back story was given through the action. The writing of this novel was very good, it was what kept me hooked to the book. It was very descriptive and it really let you into Laurel's head. You got to understand why she committed some of her actions and how she dealt with the tragedy. I really enjoyed being in her head and learning about her as a person.
Altogether, this book was an fairly good book, I'm giving it a 4/5 for being a well written book.