Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: Before You Go by James Preller


The summer before his senior year, Jude (yes, he’s named after the Beatles song) gets his first job, falls in love for the first time, and starts to break away from his parents. Jude’s house is kept dark, and no one talks much—it’s been that way since his little sister drowned in a swimming pool seven years ago when Jude was supposed to be watching her.

Now, Jude is finally, finally starting to live. Really live. And then, life spins out of control. Again.

Acclaimed author James Preller explores life, death, love, faith, and resilience in his first young adult novel that will grip readers from the book’s dramatic first few pages to its emotional end.


Publication date: July 17th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends 

The Elliott Review:

This book is short but packed full of meaning and skillful characterization. Jude's character is developed in a subtle but beautiful way. Although Jude and his family still suffer deeply due to his sister's death, Jude deals with it in his own quiet way. He doesn't talk about that day, but his friend Corey understands him and the two of them start a wonderful, chill summer together just hanging out with the guys and meeting new people.

I loved seeing Jude open up to Becka and in turn learning a lot about life from her. Everything about their interactions is realistic for teens in summertime. But then another unthinkable accident happens that shakes them to their core and they both deal with it in their own way.

This book, to me, was just simple and beautiful, dealing with deep life issues without veering into a cautionary tale sort of story like so many of these types of books do. It stays real and true in its presentation of the characters.

Young Adult Notes:

Death of a young child, teen drinking, mild sexual implications, some language.

Source: Thanks to Ksenia at Feiwel & Friends for providing a copy of this title in exchange for a fair review.


  1. I'm glad to hear you liked it. I'll be reading it this weekend.

  2. Sounds like a book I need to get my hands on. Thanks for the great info in your review.