Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Before You Go by James Preller

Feiwel and Friends, 2012

Jude is starting summer off like any typical teen...finding a job.  And lucky him, he lives close to the beach and employment opportunities at the food stands are abundant.  What Jude really wants is what most guys want before their senior year - to hang out, find a girl, go to good parties. 

He's coming out of a long downward spiral, starting with the death of his little sister Lily, who died when Jude was nine.  His mother still hasn't let go, and his father runs, literally and figuratively, from home.  The only light in his life is his best friend Corey, and the "brodowns" they have when they hang out.  Jude is starting to come back to life.  His new job is part of living again in the real world.

It doesn't take long for Jude to understand the role he has in the business of schlepping burgers, pretzels and sodas to the teeming throngs of beachgoers.  His job is made better by Roberto, a guy he meets on the job and shares an instant brotherhood with.  And then there's Becka....beautiful Becka.....

Then, tragedy strikes Jude's life again, and when it does, it hits him hard, strong and fast.  He's managed to survive and get through one he'll never forget, but is this one too much for him?

Preller begins this book with a powerful scene and ends it with one as well.  What makes this book a recommended read is not necessarily the characters or the style of writing but the book itself.  With short chapters, it's easy to digest and an excellent pick for a reluctant reader.  Jude's character is one that guy readers will relate to, from the video games to music to his conversations and interactions with his friends.   This, too, makes it the perfect book for a guy.  I could relate well with the characters and the plot without becoming overwhelmed with intentional theme.  This is a book that could be read in a day or two...quick, fast and pretty tasty.
Recommended for reluctant readers upper JH to HS.


James Preller said...

Hi, Naomi. Found your review, thanks to the wonders of Google Alerts. I appreciate that you took the time to read my book and blog about it. That's very kind. I did something about it over at my place,, with some additional musings about librarians and how they read. Carry on!

James Preller said...

Hi, Naomi. This is my second attempt at commenting, since I always find these things so darn difficult. Thanks for your kind review -- much appreciated. I posted it on my blog, over at, with some additional thoughts about librarians and how they read. Carry on!

Naomi Bates said...

thanks for your response and i completely agree with your blog review of this review. I really enjoyed this book and your talent!!!