Book Review: Before You Go by James Preller

Before You Go
Author: James Preller
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Release Date: July 17th 2012
Review Source: Feiwel & Friends
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) The summer before his senior year, Jude (yes, he’s named after the Beatles song) gets his first job, falls in love for the first time, and starts to break away from his parents. Jude’s house is kept dark, and no one talks much—it’s been that way since his little sister drowned in a swimming pool seven years ago when Jude was supposed to be watching her.

Now, Jude is finally, finally starting to live. Really live. And then, life spins out of control. Again.

Acclaimed author James Preller explores life, death, love, faith, and resilience in his first young adult novel that will grip readers from the book’s dramatic first few pages to its emotional end.

Before You Go capture my attention with that cover it has. It just drew me in with the mysterious traffic signal and the dark and stormy clouds. The cover jumped at me telling me I had to read the book. Then you pick it up and its light because its only 200+ pages, so of course its going to be a fast read. Which it was, I read it in no time. This was my first book read from James Preller and it probably won't be my last. Even though, at times I felt like two authors wrote this book, I really did enjoy the beginning and end to this novel. The middle part is where I feel that it lack a little and felt written by someone else. 

Did Before You Go work for me, yes and slight no. Yes because the beginning captured me, what a way to start a novel. The beginning is my favorite part of this book, hands down. Then I mentioned the ending, which I did enjoy. The slightly no part belongs to the middle and the main character. I felt that when the story was solely focused on him, it was slow and annoying but when others where involved the pace was better. 

So we meet Jude, Jude lost his sister when he was young while he was watching her. This has really changed Jude's life ever since the accident. Losing someone such as a sibling will scar a person deeply. His parents are pretty much nonexistent with him. Mom lives in her room and Dad is just blank. Jude starts a job for the summer in his beach town. Its not a bad job to have even if you are flipping burgers and serving ice cold drinks. Your on the beach and meeting all sorts of people. Just when everything seems to be going great for Jude and he even thinks or feels he might have found his one true love. BAM!!! The tragic accident that changes everything again. In the accident a very close loved one of Jude's dies and Jude once again descends back into severe depression. This causes Jude to become very angry and volatile. This is all what kept me interested in the book. What cause me to loose interest at time was the relationship or idea of a relationship between Jude and who he thought or wanted to believe was his girlfriend. It was annoying at times how he reacted to her and what she was doing. He assumed she was his and would just get all sorts of crazy around her. Jude seriously needed someone to slap him back to reality. Then his attitude after the accident, oh this actually had me upset at times with Jude. Throughout the book I had a love-hate relationship towards Jude. 

So overall, I liked but didn't love Before You Go. Its a pretty fast read, and it does have some great writing.  I think certain people will LOVE this story. It a good book to read on the beach this summer. 

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