Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{July 15, 2012}   {ARC Review} Before You Go by James Preller

From Goodreads: 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.


I’m sorry to say that I was highly disappointed with this novel.  The synopsis made me think that the story would be trailing Jude’s life as it spins out of control—focus on the spinning out of control—but what I found is that this novel actually spends almost all of its time following Jude as he works a dead-end summer job he hates while attempting to woo a girl and fall in love. And, quite honestly, I found it all a bit boring.  Jude isn’t my favorite, and Becka rubbed me the wrong way throughout most of the story.  I also found the text to be a bit choppy, and it took over 70 percent of the novel to move on from everyday teenage life to a tragic happening that leaves Jude devastated and falling to pieces.  I personally thought a lot of the novel could have been cut out, but it was already short—I think I needed more development of the characters, to the point that I cared about them, because by the time Jude’s life falls apart, I couldn’t have cared less.  One and a half stars.

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group was extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on July 17, 2012. 



Varjohukka says:

I’m sorry you were disappointed, it really sounded like a very good book. I would like to read it..maybe I would like it more.

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