Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Before You Go” as Want to Read:
Before You Go
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Before You Go

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  637 Ratings  ·  111 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, own
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
Jen • Just One More Page

This review is also posted on my blog.

(view spoiler)
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The main character has a profound sense of humanity. The love and the guilt that he felt for his sister was a common thread throughout this character's life.
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
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
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
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-galley
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
Akay Valdez
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“If God is for us, who is against us?” God was not cruel, but loving. God was not indifferent, but compassionate, our savior and our strength.”

“If you leave your heart open, God will find you.”

“Does it make you feel insignificant?” he asked.
“Not at all,” Becka said, her voice soft, mellow. “I feel like I’m blessed, part of some unknowable mystery.”

“The days’ events tumbled like laundry in a drying machine, a jumble of impressions and memory, mingled with bleached-out reality like faded photograp
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
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
First the cover - it is lovely, though it doesn't really fit if I think about it, but I do like it anyways.
Then the story - it is not bad actually but it din't grab my attention either.

In terms of length it is quite a short book, I finished it in no time, but I wasn't invested during that time. A I see it, much happens but feels unimportant, there's a lot of dialog but not enough meaning behind it. I actually didn't get attached to the characters, maybe because the book is really short. I don't
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family, female, male, romance
So typical. Boy has tragedy befall his family for which he blames himself. Another tragedy occurs. There's a girl. There are feelings, feelings get hurt. It didn't feel like the characters were their ages and the situation, while important to discuss including the dangers of teen driving, was not riveting, unique, or well-written enough for me to read it all the way through.
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am not entirely sure how I feel about this book. It is a rollercoaster. a bit slow in the beginning, some exciting hills, sad loops, interesting spirals then done. Back at the station. I enjoyed the story and the feels but felt the story lacked sustenance.
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I mostly didn't finish because I was just underwhelmed and didn't have time. You can't read everything, so they tell me.
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-and-owned
This book follows Jude and his friends and family before and after a car crash that affects all of their lives. They all seem to be getting their lives together, living pretty happily until the accident completely changes their world. Will they be able to get their lives back on track after losing someone close to them?

This book was so boring. We learned about the car crash on the first couple of pages, were then dragged through a long “Before the Crash” section where seemingly nothing happens e
Chenoa Smeds
Jun 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
This book upset me so much, because I was immediately gripped in the prologue, and then the first chapter started. In my opinion, this is the most boring book I have ever read. The only reason I finished it, is because I can not leave a book unfinished.
Jude is a depressed teenager, with parents who aren't so present. A tragedy had occurred in his family several years earlier, and none of the, really ever got over it. It has the capacity to be a wonderful novel, except for the complete lack of i
Sarah Summers
Sep 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book but I couldn't. Having been in two life-threatening situations in my life has changed me but I honestly couldn't connect with this story. Maybe I'm better at handling things but I though that the man character was super whiny and so "holier than thou" that the whole story fell flat.
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A car crash, someone dies, then we live through "before". Not a page turner by any means but interesting enough to hold my attention.
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a quick read! Less than 200 pages. Jude is dealing with the death of his sister years before and tragedy strikes again when he thinks things are getting back to normal.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
It was pretty good, not my favorite, and it got a little confusing.
Susan Reeves deMasi
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Sad and not much point to it. These teens sure have a lot of time for drinking and goofing off.
Sarah {Literary Meanderings}

♥ Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

- - -

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
Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Once Upon a Twilight
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
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Riding Out the Storm
  • Smashed
  • The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life
  • Perfect Escape
  • All These Lives
  • Counting Backwards
  • Lucky Fools
  • Intentions
  • The Little Woods
  • This One Time with Julia
  • The Stone Girl
  • 37 Things I Love (in No Particular Order)
  • Nicholas Dane
  • Sweet, Hereafter (Heaven, #3)
  • Sign Language
  • Touched
  • Skipped
  • In Too Deep
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

Young Adult Deals

  • Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Mechanica (Mechanica, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Night Divided
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Lotterys Plus One
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The End of Feeling
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Gone (Gone, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World #1)
    $8.51 $2.99
  • Deviants (Dust Chronicles #1)
    $4.49 $0.99
  • Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles, #1)
    $6.49 $1.99
  • Just Friends
    $7.80 $2.99
  • For Love and Honor (An Uncertain Choice, #3)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Chemistry Lessons
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Menagerie
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Touching Spirit Bear (Spirit Bear, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Black Bird of the Gallows
    $7.99 $0.99
  • My Best Friend's Exorcism
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Liars, Inc.
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Twilight / Life and Death (Twilight, #1, 1.75)
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon
    $15.95 $1.99
  • Lumière (The Illumination Paradox, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Hate Everyone But You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Love and Other Unknown Variables
    $7.99 $0.99
  • The Cruelty
    $7.80 $2.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »