Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 304 Pages
Release: July 2016
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
When I read Love and Other Unknown Variables, I was completely satisfied with the ending. There was a promise of hope through all the pain and grief. Then I heard about this novel, Life after Juliet, which tells the story of Charlie's sister Becca and how she deals with through pain, and I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed.
If you're at all interested in reading this book you should first pick up Love and Other Unknown Variables. This isn't so much a sequel as a companion, but you need to know the events of that novel for this one to really have the same impact. In LOUV I was able to connect with Charlie because he's mathematician (like me!) and in LAJ I was able to connect with Becca because she's a bookworm afraid of getting lost in the real world (also like me!).
This novel is about learning facing life when you've experienced a devastating loss. It's about making new friends when you're afraid it might hurt if and when you lose them, afraid that the perils of life aren't worth the pain that goes along with them. It's about opening up and finding yourself; growing up and moving forward because that one person gave you a push and to give up now would be disgracing their memory. It's a story about learning to live when all you've ever done is hide.
Loss is a devastating thing. This novel depicts Becca's struggles with dealing with the loss of her best friend beautifully. It's not just something you can get over. And it's not really something you should get over. Becca was extremely easy to relate too, and not only because she's a bookworm. She's also vulnerable, afraid, and just plain likable.
The side cast of characters in this were great additions to the story. Becca's parents had a few humorous appearances and were real in a way that young adult novels so often seem to forget. Charlie (the main character in LOUV) also makes several appearances and these were some of the highlights for me. It was nice to see more of the brother/sister relationship that was developing in Charlie's story. These two make such a cute duo. Sibling relationships are often some of my favorites. Max and the rest of the drammies and techies were also great additions.
I don't know how to tell you all the things I loved without just reciting the entire book, so I'm going to sum it up by saying go read this. If you've ever experienced loss, you can relate. If you've ever been afraid of the unknown and the future, you can relate. If you're ready to take a chance and possibly have your heart crushed, you can relate. If you've ever dreamed of acting in Romeo and Juliet, you can relate. So read this book and take Becca's journey with her. You won't regret it.