The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is another of those "what happens after your family dies" books - in this one, Laurel's family (along with Mrs. Kaufman, a neighbor) are killed in a car accident following a Passover seder. Laurel claimed too much French homework, and David (the neighbor's son) went off to be with his friends; Mr. Kaufman was driving and is now in a coma.
We follow Laurel over the next year and a few months of her life as she copes with her loss, getting on with her life, while living with her grandmother (who has moved in with Laurel). She also has the opportunity to confront the Mr. Kaufman, and her relationship with David, with whom she was close prior to middle school, slowly repairs over their shared loss and confusion. Her reactions felt real, particularly the way she cared for the animals at the vets, where she's taken a summer job). But there was something about this that didn't quite carry the emotional impact of other books in this genre - I cared more about the animals than the humans.
ARC provided by publisher.