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Friday, September 2, 2011

Guest Post - Before and After: First Breakup by Jennifer Castle

Today, I have the lovely Jennifer Castle guest posting on my blog. We've all been through breakups and boy do they suck! I was really intrigued by Jennifer's first break up story, it was quite amusing. I'm sure she'd love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to leave comments for her to read.

If you missed my review earlier this morning of her debut, The Beginning of After, please check it out here. Also, please visit Tuesday's tour stop at The Reader Bee, she has one cool looking blog!

Before and After: First Breakup
by Jennifer Castle

My first breakup was not a boring one: It involved finding hidden photographs of an unfamiliar girl, a letter discovered in a friend’s suitcase, a late-night admission of snooping, then another letter of accusations. Wait, did I live this or am I just remembering some bad novel I read for my college Victorian Romance class?

Today, I cringe at memories of that boyfriend. (I just Googled him and his named showed up on a research paper about mutant Zebrafish embryos. I think I dodged a bullet.) We were never quite right anyway, and I rebounded into a pulse-thudding, all-consuming first real love with someone else. But my first breakup did change me, as it does for most people, I think…and as it should.

Before all that drama, the thrill of romance outweighed the risk, and the possibility of betrayal and hurt existed for me only in a vague somewhere-elseness. I didn’t have to open my heart to someone, because it already was -- it didn’t know any better. My hope was still arranged in clean, unbroken lines.

After, infatuation always came packaged with the complete self-protection kit of caution, rationality, and doubt. But in different ways and at different times, and for better or worse, I got past it with each new person. What other choice is there? I guess that’s why “The Beginning of After” is, to me, as much about human bonds as it is about loss and survival. Whatever happens, not making that connection with someone can be the biggest heartbreak of all.


Jennifer Castle graduated from Brown University and worked as a celebrity publicist's assistant, an advertising copywriter, and a struggling screenwriter (yes, that's an actual job) before falling into a niche producing websites for kids and teens. The Beginning of After is her first novel. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in New York's Hudson Valley.

For more info on Jennifer, visit her sites:


The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 432

Summary: "Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: it’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy. One part of your life unyokes from the other."

Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. Now, Laurel must navigate a new world in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all, there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss, a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

Purchase the novel here:


the Vintage Bookworm said...

I've had this on my to-read list for a little while. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy and read it. Thank you for having her guest post, it was fun to read. =)

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