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Before You Go

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  444 ratings  ·  95 reviews
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
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
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2012 YA Contemporary Challenge!
98th out of 214 books — 1,297 voters
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Community Reviews

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This is one of the worst books I’ve ever read, but I say that with a bit of affection. I finished this in one evening, because it was just…riveting. I couldn’t look away! It was like this crazy mixture of horrible writing, cardboard characters, dialogue from another planet, consistency problems, and semi-poetic gibberish that all somehow combined into a slurry of pure magic. I think this phenomenon is best described by the source material itself:

“For Jude, it was like watching and enjoying a ter
With under 200 pages, Before You Go is a relatively short novel that is a breeze to get through - even moreso because of its short chapters. This is what I'm giving credit for the 3 stars. It's not a contemporary that impressed me per say as it lacks depth, characterization, and the writing is awkward. Since it's such a quick read, however, I didn't get the chance to grow tired of it, nor can I say I downright disliked it.

In a few short words, this novel is about nothing. Jude still blames hims
Originally posted at:

Before You Go is a story written in two parts: Before and After. From the moment I saw the words "Before" I KNEW something big was going to happen in the middle of the story, just like John Green's Looking for Alaska. And of course, I was right.
I found this story a little too slow for my liking. If it wasn't for my intense curiosity of what could cause this book to have a before and after, I wouldn't have finished it. It really does t
Sally Kruger
It's been seven years since Jude's little sister Lily drowned in the backyard pool. His mother spends most of her time behind closed curtains self-medicating to get through her days. His father goes to work and comes home and then jogs to try to outrun his memories. Jude has the biggest guilt to deal with since he believes that he is to blame for his sister's death.

Junior year is almost over and Jude thinks maybe a summer job would help keep him busy. Living near the boardwalk means there should
This book begins and ends with powerful prose. It strikes the reader from the first few lines that it will be a beautiful one to read. And, although it doesn’t always deliver plot-wise in my opinion, the beauty of it does not disappoint.
Jude, the protagonist, is quite interesting. There is a darkness, a brooding quality, that adds a bit of mystery to what could have been just another dull teen character. He is full of contradictions. Once in a while, this can become a bit frustrating to the read
This review is also posted on my blog.

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After letting your sister drown in the family pool, your life can only go up, right? Not quite. Jude is a typical rising senior in high school with a craptastic summer job & a quirky, yet endearing best friend (Corey). Also, he's quite smitten with a certain cashierette (Becka) at his job. While his family never properly dealt with the death of his sister (his mother withdrew into the house & his father focuses on anything but human emotion), Jude has found solace in Corey. From a conser ...more
Generally I don't read realistic YA fiction written by male authors (I'm not sexist) it just seems as though it is a predominately female written genre.

This book was told in two parts. There was the Before and then there was the After Part and the novel itself was written in the third person which isn't my favourite way to read a book because I don't feel the usual connection to the characters.

We have our main protagonist Jude. He's you're average teenager. Awkward in the eyes of his crush but
Before You Go is a gorgeously written tale about the kind of heartbreak that only comes with the passing of a loved one. An omniscient and mostly numb protagonist did distance me as a reader, but being well-paced, I found Before You Go to be a mostly enjoyable read.

The opening scene which details the car accident has to be one of my favourite scenes of late. The atmosphere sets the tone for the rest of the novel and provides the plot with a sense of suspense as it foreshadows the moment Jude's l
Jennifer Ellision
Posted to Almost Grown-up:

The first scene of Before You Go by James Preller packs a punch. It’s rich in imagery and sensory detail and there’s an urgency to the scene. Add that to how excited I was for the novel, and I was fully sucked in. I expected that would be the case for then entirely novel, but then I realized it was a flash-forward-style prologue. These work in some (RARE) cases, but in many, as was the case in Before You Go, it irritated me as a reader. I felt like I’d been promised hig
It’s got a really good intro- very atmospheric, a little like Shatter Me with the visuals without trying too hard; the rest of it though… not so much.

There’s a little on love a lot on life and death and even some on faith, Jude just didn’t make that much of a compelling narrator. So far, his life’s been sad. Tragedy marks his everyday…and he feels this disconnect. As a consequence, I never felt a connection to him, or that special something that would have me with a lump in my throat for what h
A sad, but worthwhile read about a boy who's already lost a younger sister & faces greater loss to come. I recommend it for high school because of the partying with alcohol that happens several times in the book - ironically not the cause of any of the suffering in this tale. As an adult reader, part of me wanted to see consequences for the casual drinking. On the other hand, I think the story had a stronger impact with it's "stuff happens" cause of trauma. Because in real life, sometimes st ...more
Holly Bettcher
I don't make a habit of writing reviews... I tend to want to get straight on to the next book I have waiting in line... And I don't feel particularly passionate about this book positively or negatively, but I do feel a little 'blah' and this review is my way of straightening out why I feel this way.

Before You Go starts with an interesting premise... an accident. Someone has died and then begins the story - before that. So, what leads to this fateful night? Who has died? Who has made it?? Then I
I mostly didn't finish because I was just underwhelmed and didn't have time. You can't read everything, so they tell me.
a very underwhelming novel. the characters were forgettable, the storyline average bordering on unoriginal, the dialogue nothing special. just all around blah, with one glaring exception... the changing of third person narration multiple times within a chapter without a line break or any other clue that you were about to be thrust into a different head space. massively annoying, that. surprised that was not edited out of the manuscript since it served no discernible purpose in the narration othe ...more
Apr 12, 2012 Hannah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Meh. This book did not work for me, and I think it's mainly because of the narrative. Before You Go has an omniscient narrator. I don't want to judge the book solely based on that, but I'm just not a fan of omniscient narrators. I like first person narrators, and third person limited sometimes works for me too. The closer we are to the main character, the better, and omniscient is just too far outside of my comfort zone. Even if that's not actually the case, this narrative makes it sound like it ...more
Preller’s novel opens with a car crash, but he does not reveal who is in the car. All you know is that there are four passengers and one dies. The second chapter begins weeks before the crash happens. The opening drives the plot, as the reader needs to know who dies in the crash. Every time four people got in a car, I braced myself and paid special attention to who sat shotgun.

Preller reveals such profound characters that I feared caring too much for them since I knew one of them was going to di
Ms. Yingling
Jude is enjoying his summer as much as he can, hanging out with his geeky friend Corey who is obsessed with zombies and working in food service on the beach, wearing a dorky paper hat and an orange and black uniform. He makes another friend in coworker Roberto, who encourages him to get to know the attractive Becka, one of the cashiers. Being at work and hanging out with friends gives Jude the chance to get away from his health nut father (who, embarrassingly, runs in spandex shorts) and his dep ...more
Before You Go by James Preller is a heartbreaking story written about Jude, the loss he suffered years ago, and the loss he will soon face. Between these periods of grief is time spent trying to mend, trying to move on, trying to build a life for himself.

The book starts out with a haunting prologue, but I quickly forgot about that as I was swept up in Jude’s summer. Jude has a new summer job and quickly falls for a pretty coworker who seems to like him back. He has a great best friend that is mo
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
This is one of those books that can hook you from the first page. The suspense of an unknown accident, the people involved, leaving out just enough detail to tantalize you and make you eagerly keep reading.

Except, it doesn't stay with the accident, instead, you start somewhere near the beginning. You start at “Before”.

We learn all about Jude, his life, his first job, his friendships new and old, his first girlfriend. His grief about his little sister, really, we learn it all and then, well then
To see more reviews visit Little Bookworm Reviews.

An emotional book that shows the importance of staying strong and never giving up.

I read this book for the ReaLITy Reads feature on If you guys haven't check out this website then I highly recommend it. I'm also on the TeenBoard and I love working with all the awesome people who are a part of this website.

I'm basically just going to cut and paste the questions into here because these questions sum up the review and how I felt about
A searing exploration of loss on the teenage psyche. I struggle with novels that casually depict teen sex, drinking, and other bad behaviors, but this one tackles these subjects with an understanding that I respect. Nowhere does Preller revel in or make excuses for reckless choices, but he presents a way of life that, whether I like it or not, exists for many of this nation's young adults. Neither preachy nor prurient, Preller has written a fact-based, warts-and-all look at the 21st century teen ...more

♥ Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

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Seven years ago, Jude's younger sister drowned in a swimming pool while he was supposed to be watching her. Life hasn't been the same since. His mother spends most of her time holed up in her bedroom. His father seems indifferent and oblivious. The house is kept dark and lonely.

The book opens up to Jude going in for his first day on a summer job. He lives in a beach town, so this job is at a concession stand right on the beach. He'll b
A Book Vacation
1.5 stars

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
Once Upon
Before You Go capture my attention with that cover it has. It just drew me in with the mysterious traffic signal and the dark and stormy clouds. The cover jumped at me telling me I had to read the book. Then you pick it up and its light because its only 200+ pages, so of course its going to be a fast read. Which it was, I read it in no time. This was my first book read from James Preller and it probably won't be my last. Even though, at times I felt like two authors wrote this book, I really did ...more
Chapter by Chapter
The first thing that caught my eye when it came to the novel Before You Go by author James Preller was the title. It held mystery and immediately had me wondering exactly what the novel held. So, before even reading the novel, I quickly looked on Goodreads to see what the novel was about and when I saw what Before You Go was about I was already hooked. The story sounded like it would be quick-paced, romantic and of course tragic. It was of course, everything I imagined it to be and more.

The nove
Savannah (Books With Bite)
This is a great story about letting the past go and learning to move on with your life. When something tragic happens, we are changed inside and out. This story tells a tale of learning to become whole again.

What I enjoyed most about this story are the characters. The growth and change in them is slowly built yet very appreciated by the reader. The struggle of Jude and what he faces leaves me heart broken. To carry such a weight on his shoulders is a lot for a kid. Jude did a great job in facing
I have recently finished reading the book Before You Go, by James Preller. The book really shows the potential of disaster and harsh reality. Jude, the main character shows all of this throughout the book. This book is about a teenage boy trying to live his life and recover from a tragedy that had occurred 7 years ago when his baby sister drowned in the family pool. After the 7 years Jude finally tries to get his life rolling again by starting a new job on the beach at a burger shack. The job o ...more
First Impressions: This wasn't a book I knew much about, but the little description on Netgalley sounded good, so I thought I would check it out. There are not enough books out there written from a strong teen male point of view, so I wanted to see if this book stood up and apart from other contemporary YA novels dealing with life and death. From the beginning, the lyrical writing style set the introspective tone of the book. Even the first few pages made good use of color. Right away, you know ...more
Eh, the writing in this one was kinda awful. Cassandra Clare has way better similes, which says alot. I get what the author was trying to do, but......this needs to be edited or rewritten before it ever comes across as amazing.

And don't get me started on all the weird phrases and descriptions.

“Almost two thousand balloons,” Becka said. “My parents are willing to go halfsies.”
“…greeted each other like long-lost Ping-Pong partners.”
“so tacky it rocked the house”
“wearing shorts and some kind of s
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James Preller (born 1961) is the children's book author of the Jigsaw Jones Mysteries, which are published by Scholastic Corporation. He grew up in Wantagh, New York and went to college in Oneonta, New York. After graduating from college in 1983, James Preller was employed as a waiter for one year before being hired as a copywriter by Scholastic Corporation, where he was introduced (through their ...more
More about James Preller...
Bystander The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster (Jigsaw Jones Mystery #1) A Pirate's Guide to First Grade The Case of the Mummy Mystery (Jigsaw Jones, #6) The Case of the Christmas Snowman (Jigsaw Jones Mystery, No. 2)

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