Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

The Beginning of After follows sixteen year old Laurel through the twists and turns her life takes after the sudden death of her parents and younger brother. There's not much else to say in regards to plot; it was a bit slow (it took me a lot of sittings to actually get through it, and I took a few day-long breaks) and didn't really hold my attention.

Character development was ultimately successful, in that I felt as if I understood Laurel by the time that I reached the last page, but her lack of close bonds with many other characters made it difficult to really bond, so to say, with the people surrounding her. The writing was insightful at best, and falsely teenager-like at worst, but I did enjoy the overall tone of the novel.

My greatest misgivings with Castle's novel is possibly that it just wasn't the sort of novel that I was looking to read at the time that I picked it up; those of you who, like me, read all sorts of YA fiction, must also struggle with the transition of going from relatively interesting, otherworldly novels to very realistic, ordinary tales of woe.

All in all, a good novel for readers of realistic fiction, but not the biggest attention-grabber.

Grade: C+

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