Author: James Preller
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Feiwel and Friends (July 17, 2012)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars
The summer before his senior year, Jude (yes, he’s named after the Beatles song) gets his first job, falls in love for the first time, and starts to break away from his parents. Jude’s house is kept dark, and no one talks much—it’s been that way since his little sister drowned in a swimming pool seven years ago when Jude was supposed to be watching her.
Now, Jude is finally, finally starting to live. Really live. And then, life spins out of control. Again.
Acclaimed author James Preller explores life, death, love, faith, and resilience in his first young adult novel that will grip readers from the book’s dramatic first few pages to its emotional end.
This is one of those books that can hook you from the first page. The suspense of an unknown accident, the people involved, leaving out just enough detail to tantalize you and make you eagerly keep reading.
Except, it doesn't stay with the accident, instead, you start somewhere near the beginning. You start at “Before”.
We learn all about Jude, his life, his first job, his friendships new and old, his first girlfriend. His grief about his little sister, really, we learn it all and then, well then we get to the “After”.
We come back to the night of the crash. Knowing that someone doesn't survive that night.
That is the one word I think that pretty much sums up what happened that night, to them all. It was heartbreaking.
Jude was heartbroken...again.
I think my heart may have broken for him as well.
We get to see his grief as he tries to piece his life back together once again. As he tries to swim through the hurt, confusion and grief that has consumed him and has become his life. He pushes the people closest to him away as he tries to figure it all out.
I wanted to give him a great big hug and let him cry on my shoulder. I wanted to tell him that it would get better eventually. That he was strong and that he would make it through it. Of course I couldn't, but I would have if I would have been there.
Thankfully he had a very special friend that never gave up on him. That helped pull him through the grief that tried to drown him.
This was another emotional read, I seem to be on a role with those lately. I should know better.
I hate having puffy eyes!
This was a fantastic read. One about letting go, forgiveness, grief, first loves, friendships, moving on and living again.