The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews



The Beginning of After is a story of hope and healing from Jennifer Castle, a powerful new voice in teen fiction.

When Laurel’s family dies in a horrific car accident, she struggles to put her life back together. She is now connected to David Kaufman, who lives down the block, and who lost his mother in the same crash. Both of their lives change—but not in the ways that they thought…

Castle blends tragedy with romance, teen angst, and wit in The Beginning of After, a bittersweet, powerful debut novel that stands as a testament to how people can survive the unthinkable.


About Jennifer Castle

See more books from this Author
Jennifer Castle grew up in a small town in Westchester County and received her BA from Brown University's creative writing program. Her first novel, The Beginning of After, was named an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and a Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" Book. Jennifer lives with her husband and two young daughters in New York's Hudson Valley. You can visit her online at
Published September 6, 2011 by HarperTeen. 435 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Beginning of After

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

6th, 2011 ISBN: 978-0-06-198579-9 Page count: 432pp ...

| Read Full Review of The Beginning of After

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Laurel’s reactions to the accident get lost among other mini-dramas that pop up along the way, and the blunt descriptions of her feelings (as well as how early in the book the accident takes place, before the characters are really established) render her grief flat and generic.

Aug 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Beginning of After


In this story, Laurel Meisner, a pretty typical high school girl loses her family the night of a Passover seder.

Sep 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Beginning of After


In the instant of a police officer’s word, Laurel’s identity changes forever, from bright, secure suburban teen to survivor of a front-page tragedy.

Jun 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Beginning of After

Book People's Teen Review

You got to experience every part of the year and how it was for Laurel without her parents and brother which was a necessary piece.

Mar 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Beginning of After

Reader Rating for The Beginning of After

An aggregated and normalized score based on 138 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review