Author: Laura Wiess
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?
Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old; a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.
If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger's shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother, and herself; from the endless replay of heartache and grief.
Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?
It took me an inordinate amount of time to read this book. And considering both the author and the subject matter, that has to be some kind of crime. I got this book as an ARC and was immediately intrigued because I've read "Such a Pretty Girl" by Laura Wiess and she's an amazing, heart-wrenching, author.
I've thankfully never experienced the world of suicide first hand, but I can count the number of times it's been a close call. The emotions in this book are raw and uncensored. The author isn't writing this book for us to read, she's writing it to tell Rowan's story, to help her heal.
A few times I had to put the book down before I started crying in a public place (and it takes a lot in a book to make me cry), and maybe that's why it took me so long to finish. I had to continuously stop and breathe and wait until I was better mentally to go back to it. I've read a lot of powerful books that take a lot out of you, but this one was different. It was certainly emotional, and it took energy out of me, but it put something back too: hope. Hope for healing and for human life.
I don't know I can possibly gush more about this book, but I hope Laura Wiess never stops writing, especially books like this.
I recommend this to everyone I possibly can. (And it comes out to the public tomorrow so go and get it!!)