The Beginning of After
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
This was one of those books I was drawn to because of the cover. It's a gorgeous cover with the sunlight suggesting a new beginning, which really fits in with the story. Laurel's world is turned upside down when her parents and brother die in a terrible car accident, suddenly leaving her alone. Her Nana comes to live with her and Laurel suddenly has to navigate life in the "after." She struggles with going back to school and living life.
I was really interested in reading this book because I wanted to see how Laurel would handle the situation. I've can't recall reading another book where the main character is suddenly orphaned, so the story was very unique to me. Of course, you can't help thinking when you're reading a book like this, "What if this happened to me?"
And that's where I got a little confused by Laruel's emotions. She was obviously upset with what happened, but her grief seemed a little weak to me. Something this tragic has never happened to me, so I can't know for sure how I would react, but I think I would be experiencing a lot more tears than Laurel did. I was happy to see that she had a great support system. Her Nana who came to live with her after the accident was a very strong woman and a great nurturer to Laurel. Nana was probably one of my favorite characters in the whole novel.
Of course, just because a tragedy happened in Laurel's life doesn't mean she stopped being a teenager. She still had to go to school and apply to college. There was also a bit of a love triangle in the book and I genuinely did not know who Laurel was going to end up with. I didn't even have a strong opinion either way, both guys seemed good for her. Of course, once the end came I knew the right choice had been made.
Three stars - it was a unique story with lots of emotion, but I had a hard time really connecting to it.