I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander
Release date: July 5th, 2016
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape— to other times, other places, other people…
Until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can.
As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world…and happy endings aren’t always guaranteed.
I don’t read a lot of contemporary novels. I mostly read to escape this world and all the stress and anxiety I seem to amass, which is why I adore fantasy. I’m super picky when it comes to books like Life After Juliet, but instantly connected with it by the end of the first chapter. Before I go on, I had no idea that it was sort of a sequel to Love and Other Unknown Variables but that didn’t take away from how much I loved it! The first book focuses on the relationship between Charlie and Charlotte, but this one is about how Charlie’s sister, Becca, deals with the loss of her best friend. It’s basically an exploration of friendship, death and new opportunities.
I feel like I read this plot before. It’s not original, but the way the author writes the characters, especially Becca, made it stand out. I identified a lot with her even though I hadn’t been through such a terrible loss. Becca is an introvert, happy to sit alone and unnoticed reading a book than to interact with others. That was me in high school and even a bit now. She used books to escape all the drama in the real world. But more than anything, I identified with her hesitation to move on, to try new things and to put herself out there. She’s just an honest character and one that I think anyone can really connect with.
As to be expected with a main character obsessed with books, this novel has some fantastic references to other books and the classics, especially Shakespeare. The chapters are labeled as scenes as if you were reading a play and not a book. The Shakespeare nerd in me really liked this. 🙂
I hated putting this book down. It was a journey I throughly enjoyed taking and I’m now looking forward to picking up Love and Other Unknown Variables. Contemporary might not be my usually “thing” but I think I just found a new author I’m for sure going to be looking out for in the future.