Sixteen-year-old Rowan Areno always grumbles about her dad’s overprotectiveness which is pretty typical for a cop. “Nothing is going to happen, Dad,” she always says. Until one day it does. When he responds to what will be a shocking tragedy for the entire community, Rowan’s world as she knows it drastically changes. She seeks comfort in Eli, a boy with his own painful secrets. Not even Eli, though, can protect Rowan from the ensuing aftermath that rocks her entire family. This book of love and loss is raw, powerful, and painfully honest. Have a box of tissues handy when you read this. - Sarah
“Laura Wiess’s masterful prose kept me turning the pages. This is the first book in a very long time that made me say, ‘Wish I’d written this’” (Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank, on Such a Pretty Girl).
Laura Wiess captures the visceral emotion of a girl’s journey from innocence to devastating loss and, ultimately, to a strange and unexpected kind of understanding—in this beautiful and painfully honest new novel.
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?
About the Author
Laura Wiess is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Such a Pretty Girl, chosen as one of the ALA’s 2008 Best Books for Young Adults and 2008 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, and Leftovers. Originally from Milltown, New Jersey, she traded bumper-to-bumper traffic, excellent pizza, and summer days down the shore for scenic roads, bears, no pizza delivery, and the irresistible allure of an old stone house surrounded by forests in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains Region. Email Laura Wiess at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.laurawiess.com for more information.