Publisher: MTV Books
Format: ARC from netgalley
Summary from Goodreads:
Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?
Before and After. That's how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old--a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.
If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger's shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother--and herself--from the endless replay of heartache and grief.
Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?
What I Thought: I've been hitting home runs with book choices lately. This was another absolutely amazing novel. While there was a real and honest love story lingering in the background of this, the front and center story was something that is so much more important to me: a story of a girl and her father.
The family dynamic is fantastic in this story and I believed every second of it. Some of the relationships between friends or other peers wasn't exactly as spot on, but I adored the family story so much that the rest of it didn't matter to me. Both Rowan's relationships with her mother and father are so strong and realistic and a little bit strained because of her being a teenager, but they feel real. There's also the relationship between her and her grandparents and also a really lovely bit with the mother and the grandmother and how they interact too. I don't read a lot of books that are family driven, so I really appreciated this one.
This book does have trigger warnings for death and more than one suicide, so be prepared for that, but the sadness of this book is such a good, real, deep down sadness that makes this book so fantastic.
Read this if: you want to read about a family and not a boy and a girl.
Out of 5☆: 5/5
This book was 19/100 for 2014