Before You Go (Hardback)
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Short Description for Before You Go The summer before his senior year, Jude 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.
- Published: 17 July 2012
- Format: Hardback 201 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780312561079 ISBN 10: 0312561075
- Sales rank: 695,932
Reviews for Before You Go
Boring and not memorable
Generally I don't read realistic YA fiction written by male authors (I'm not sexist) it just seems as though it is a predominately female written genre.
This book was told in two parts. There was the Before and then there was the After Part and the novel itself was written in the third person which isn't my favourite way to read a book because I don't feel the usual connection to the characters.
We have our main protagonist Jude. He's you're average teenager. Awkward in the eyes of his crush but acting like the man whilst he's around his little crew of friends. I wasn't overly fond of Jude because I just found him to be a little over dramatic especially when it came to the girl he liked.
Anyway, the novel follows Jude as he experiences a lot of firsts. He gets his first summer job, gets his first girl friend, has his first kiss and loses yet another person he cares about. This is the second tragic death that Jude has experienced. The first was the death of his little sister seven years before. I found Jude to be quite the melancholy character. I do not know if it was the author's intention to make him this way or if that is just how I see him. All I know is that to me he could be right out pompous and depressing so that made the reading of the novel less enjoyable. In fact I had a hard time liking any of the characters.
However, despite my dislike or plain old "meh" attitude about Jude and his not so merry cast of characters I did find that the actual plot of the novel was well thought out. There was something about it that made me want to keep reading it. Perhaps it's because it wasn't until near the end of the novel that the "After" section started thus leaving the reader with 130+ pages of wondering when the "Big Thing" would happen and start having the book start come together.
Once the "After" section happened I really thought the book picked up the pace and I believe it was that section that made the book for me. If you read it you might think that that's a little weird that it takes the death of one of the characters to make the book seem worth it to me. I was left wanting more from the characters and the writing emotionally but this novel fell short of my expectations. It was as though that part of the book got a whole new lease on life though it was still too little too late for me to give this YA novel more than a moderate rating.
The book was entertaining and it kept me interested on the afternoon that I read it long enough to finish it but it was overall quite forgettable. I can see the appeal for a book like this though and I think that people who enjoy YA novels especially teens will enjoy this book. This was just a case of it not being the novel for me. I will however be giving the authors other books a try to see if they are more to my liking.
* I received a free copy of this book from the published via NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own and I was not compensated in any way. by Kimberly Roy
A Gorgeously Written Tale
Before You Go is a gorgeously written tale about the kind of heartbreak that only comes with the passing of a loved one. An omniscient and mostly numb protagonist did distance me as a reader, but being well-paced, I found Before You Go to be a mostly enjoyable read.
The opening scene which details the car accident has to be one of my favourite scenes of late. The atmosphere sets the tone for the rest of the novel and provides the plot with a sense of suspense as it foreshadows the moment Jude's life is changed forever....again.
Jude is an interesting character. Feeling guilt over his sister's tragic death, he distances himself from almost everyone in his life. Shrouded in slight darkness, his almost brooding temperament adds mystery and intrigue to his character. The way he dealt with loss was completely believable, as struggled with who he was, what his place in the world was to be, and what the point of it all was. Lost and disillusioned, his only course of action was to further distance himself from those left. This did make for a challenging read as his mood swings were unpredictable - one second he was able to laugh with friends, the next he was purposely hurting someone so they wouldn't try to get close to him again. It created some distance between me as a reader and Jude as a character, as I wasn't fully able to relate to him even though I understood his motives. So while I found some of the writing to be breathtakingly beautiful, as it was almost lyrical in its expressiveness, I also found it could have used just a little more depth to further my connection with Jude.
The plot was...nonexistent? Come the end, I wasn't fully aware of what Before You Go was trying to accomplish, the point it was trying to make. Jude didn't stumble across the answers to his problems, nor did he resolve most of his issues. He seemed to be at greater ease over his sister's death, but I wouldn't say he found closure. His relationship with Becka seemed to be back on track, but the type of pain he caused her isn't something she would easily forgive and forget. The weird relationship he shared with his parents was never fully explained, nor was his mother's odd behaviour after the accident. I guess one could speculate that Before You Go is about how a young teen might deal with love and loss, but Jude didn't deal with his emotions - he just shut them (and everyone around him) out until it didn't hurt as bad. Maybe that was the point - that only time can heal some wounds.
A relatively short read, I really liked Before You Go. The writing is great, and I did enjoy the numerous pop culture references (though, I can't say everyone will feel the same). I found Jude to be a relatively relatable fifteen-year-old, even though I found myself wishing for a little more depth to his character. If you've got a couple hours to spare, I'd recommend giving Before You Go a chance! by Radiant Shadows