Expected Publication Date: July 17, 2012
Young Adult, Ages 12+
ARC copy used for review.
Personal Ranking 3.5 out of 5
"And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain..."
Jude is just beginning the summer before his senior year of high school and has just started his first job. Here he meets Becka, who he hopes will turn into more than just a friend. But Jude hides a painful past. He blames himself for the death of his baby sister when she was just four. He knows how quickly life can change in an instant. But after all this time, he has finally started to heal and move on. He is ready for a summer filled with work, life, friends, and hopefully Becka. Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changes and his world starts to unravel all over again.
Before and After, really that is what this story is about. When tragedy strikes, that is what your life becomes, just the after. Jude and his family has been living in the half-life since after Lily drowned. Even though the prologue tells you exactly what is going to happen, you are so wrapped up in the process of his healing from the pain of his sister's death that you forget what is coming next. You forget that Jude is only in the before of the next tragedy. When the accident happens Jude is crushed all over again. At times it almost seems like the pain that he lives under like a rock is going to crush him completely. Sometimes death can have that funny effect on you. If you haven't allowed yourself to properly grieve before, you will be consumed by it the next time you are forced to come face to face with it. Unfortunately, too many young adults have lost a close friend or family member, and may identify with Jude. Those that have never experienced that kind of loss, may understand the emotions of those that have by reading Jude's story. Boys will be able to connect with Jude and girls will gain a rare insight into the male mind. A great read for all!