Summary: Before: Jude is just trying to live as normally as possible. Getting a job, falling in love, going to parties, hanging out with his friends. Just another teenager. After: Life will never be the same again.
I do recommend this book for anyone 12+, and who is comfortable with drinking, mention of drugs, sarcasm, and the life of the teen.
I don’t really know how I feel about this book. While I liked it, and fell in love with Jude and his friends (who are hilariously funny, if you understand their sense of humor. I just loved Roberto, and Corey. They’re both amazing friends to Jude and they’re charming in their own ways.), I couldn’t really find a plot line. The book was basically just barfing up a whole tragic story and a love story about friendship and togetherness all mixed in one, but I couldn’t find a definite plot line (and what I mean as a plot line is the basic outline for a story that is fantastical and amazing. Not a story line where you have to detail every little thing that happens). And when my friends would ask me what it was about, because maybe they’ve read it, all I could say was, “It’s this really sad story about this guy named Jude who goes through a lot of bad things” (simplifying it here, so that I don’t give anything away). But otherwise, it’s a really good book and I really enjoyed it. The writing is artistic and dramatic, like a teenager actually wrote it, and it’s almost like poetry in prose, if that makes sense. Preller’s really good with language, and I applaud him for that, because it made the book enjoyable. But there were moments when I had to take a step back and read something else, just to get a reminder on what a plot line is like. I mean, if I really wanted to, I could sum up the book in a sentence like “Life sucks but the world keeps turning” or something, and I guess that would be the basic theme, but I just can’t figure out what the plot line was. No matter how hard I think back on this book, it just doesn’t come to me. I could give you the whole story line, but that would involve everything that happens in the book, and, in turn, spoil everything.
I did, however, enjoy the book, despite it not really having any action (guns, hunts, maybe an explosion, the girl/guy is about to lose the guy/girl and it just can’t happen because the characters are meant to be, the murderer is right behind him/her so just turn around) that really kept me wanting to read. If it weren’t for Jude, his friends, the amazing writing, and the After (and dying to know what happens to Jude after the After), I probably wouldn’t have kept reading.