August 15, 2012

Review of Before You Go by James Preller


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 by James Preller
Publish Date: July 12, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

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** This book was provided to us by the publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinion **


The first thing that caught my eye when it came to the novel Before You Go by author James Preller was the title.  It held mystery and immediately had me wondering exactly what the novel held.  So, before even reading the novel, I quickly looked on Goodreads to see what the novel was about and when I saw what Before You Go was about I was already hooked.  The story sounded like it would be quick-paced, romantic and of course tragic.  It was of course, everything I imagined it to be and more.

The novel began with a prologue of sorts that caught my attention from the first sentence and once it held my attention it never once let go.  The start of the novel began with a car accident consisting of four victims with only three survivors out of the four.  It forces readers to wonder exactly what just happened and before we can learn too much about the novel, it shoves us into the main character Jude’s life.  From what we learn early on, Jude’s younger sister drowned when he was nine and ever since his family had never been the same.  With a mother who is dissociating from the world around him and a Dad who I found, acted like nothing was wrong, we see that Jude’s life is far from perfect.

Taking up a job at a concession stand near the beach, readers see Jude begin his new job and quickly get immersed in the reality of it.  His boss was a total jerk.  His employees were all awesome-sauce and one of the cashier’s eventually catches his eye and a romance grows.  Personally, I liked the romance between Becka and Jude because it was a relationship unlike most in YA.  You have this attractive sounding guy main character who has a tragic past and is constantly brooding, and then you have this ray of sunshine for a love interest who Jude just can’t resist.  Not to mention that his past does get in the way slightly with his relationship with Becka, causing twists and turns that were a total Epic win.

The tone of the novel is set from the start, giving it a very dark feel that most YA novels attempt to achieve but never really do.  Luckily, Before You Go does achieve that tone considering the way the novel both began with tragedy and at the same time eventually ends with tragedy.  This is definitely a novel that I think has no comparison and stands alone in the YA universe.

While it’s definitely worth a read, I would recommend this novel to fans of YA contemporary and romance with a dark twist. This novel is double rainbow all the way.

Connect with James:


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Available for Purchase:


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1 Comment

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    i like that it’s dark and the cover and title speak to a mystery. So glad you liked it..double rainbow

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