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What We Leave Behind

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,116 ratings  ·  171 reviews
It is said that our lives are a sum total of the choices we make, which inevitably leaves us to wonder: what if? What if we had the chance to go back and live what could have been? What We Leave Behind hones in on the fleeting moments and stand-out events that irrevocably change our lives.

The book chronicles the life and emotional growth of Jessica Parker as she frees her
Paperback, 328 pages
Published February 15th 2012 by CreateSpace
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,116 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Update: Today and tomorrow --7/26 and 7/27 this book will be 99 cents as a Kindle download!!!!!!!
I couldn't put it down when I read it --tender -emotional -thought provoking.

This is a fully engaging story. Such subtle greatness! The author is very attund to the depths of our deeper souls. (really great at it --her wisdom comes through her writing).

How do we make sense of loss that make up a life? (this is a theme that runs through this story) ---but by even saying this, won't tell you 'anything'
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway and am so glad I did. What a beautifully crafted story, full of rich characters that I bonded with. These were real people, smart and talented, full of life and full of flaws.
I was drawn to the young Jessica, who keeps her emotions bottled up, afraid that loving someone will mean losing them, as she did her father. She is defiant, sarcastic and full of so much longing. When she meets Jonas her shell cracks and she falls hard. As many first loves do theirs did
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-read
At 4:30am after reading right through the acknowledgements, I finally closed What We Leave Behind. To say this book satisfied my heart and soul would be an understatement. It’s very rare that a book grabs my attention in such a way that every time I would attempt to put it down, I would tell myself, “just one more chapter!” But, Rochelle Weinstein did it; telling a poignant story of what was, what is, and what could have been. Not just for Jessica Parker… but in many ways for all of us. This is ...more
Judy D Collins
Having had the pleasure of reading talented Rochelle B. Weinstein’s latest (2016) Where We Fall landing on my Top Books of 2016 List, an instant fan of this South Florida author.

I found myself quickly searching for her previous books, discovering her debut, WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND, now available in audio (6/14/16) narrated by Casey Turner and also available in e-book, and paperback. The paperback and audio make a nice combo; you will want to bookmark many quotes.

Powerful, and emotional, a poig
Oct 16, 2014 rated it did not like it

1 ★

I finished it, all 700 pages! I deserve a cookie for this accomplishment. I've dnf'd so many books this year that I couldn't bring myself to do it again. I kept holding out hope that it would somehow get better. It didn't.

I didn't like any of the characters. The storyline was bad. The conversations and inner thoughts were written weird. Too much happens in this book. You name it, it happened. It's like things were thrown in just for shock value and to get you emotional. But what happens when
Nancy Baker
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
There wasn't anything truly complicated about this story -- no big "WOW" moment -- and no great surprise ending and yet it spoke to me. The author's writing style had such a smooth, fluid air to it with the sprinkling of a poetic blanket surrounding it. It was life in its purest form.

This story involves one girl, three time periods and the effects of choices made in each. The first time period is Jessica at age 16. It was like watching a flower unfold in slow motion. The young budding girl blos
Ava Catherine
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
An excellent book about love, loss, and forgiveness. A well-written book that has the reader pulling for young Jessica Parker from the beginning.

Jessica is fifteen at the outset of the story and still trying to recover from her father's death several years before. She falls hard for a twenty-two year old med student who ends up dumping her. Jess pulls her life together and eventually gets married. However, the past threatens to destroy the life she has built. Jessica is a really strong woman wi
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful though heartbreaking book. It took me through many what ifs about my own life. What happens if you made a different decision or had a chance later on to do what you may have felt you should have done earlier
Jessica Parker learned about loss at an early age as a teen she falls into a relationship that she knew wasn't made to last going into it. But even knowing doesn't stop the heart from wanting. The second half of the book deals with the possibility of changing that past I
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This is the second audiobook by Rochelle Weinstein that I have completed and absolutely loved. The writing is spectacular and beautiful! I feel I can't say too much about the story, especially Parts Two and Three, without giving too much away. I'll just say that I was surprised by a twist in the story, it was heart-wrenching, and it was so very hard to stop listening to this book. An excellent book and one I highly recommend it. The narration by Casey Turner was very well done!!

I won this audiob
Darah Zeledon
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I haven’t read a novel like this in decades and it ushered in a flock of memories from my own adolescence defined by complicated emotions, hormone-raging impulses, secrets, misunderstandings and heartbreak from unrequited love. This book certainly speaks deeply to any woman who has ever loved and lost. Oftentimes, I was compelled to set the book aside to quietly ponder my own past of misguided relationships, wondering where I’d be today had I followed a different path. Ms. Weinstein does a ...more
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway. It took me a few chapters to relate to the main character Jessica, but as I continued to read, I couldn't put it down and finished the book in two days.

It is a coming of age love story with lots of twists and turns and surprises, and as the Author describes, it is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Loved the book!

Thank you for the free, autographed copy!!
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Took a little time to get into it but enjoyed the book.
diann bryan
Rochelle B. Weinstein is a Rock Star! I absolutely Love how she puts twists and turns into her stories and the characters are so wonderful. Casey Turner did an Amazing job bringing this story to life! I highly recommend it.
❤Marie Gentilcore
I finished this book about 3 months ago. As I recall I didn’t really like the main character, Jessica. So, it took me a long time to read the book which made it seem never-ending. But, don’t let that put you off the book, it has a lot of high ratings so many people obviously enjoyed it and I do recall there were some good parts, it just wasn’t for me.
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
I received this book as a winner of a Goodreads giveaway two summers ago. Just after I won it, I experienced a loss and I felt I might have a difficult time with the subject matter of the book. It stared at me from its place on my bookshelf and asked me again and again to pay attention. Although I am glad I waited, because this novel has many heartbreaking moments and I probably wasn't prepared for them emotionally until recently, I am truly sorry I didn't read it before now. This is a beautiful ...more
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For my review, I'd like to start with a quote from the book, a rumination from the main protagonist:

"In those moments of darkness, it was starting to become clear to me. For too long I’d been unable to rely on others, as if needing someone would make them leave. Maybe Marty hadn’t left. Maybe it was me who had become frightened and scared and retreated into places I didn’t dare speak about. Maybe it wasn’t so terrible to need someone."

Albeit late, this was a very fitting thought to end the book
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This book is just beautiful, I feel so privileged to be one of the first people in the world to have read it.
Nothing about this novel disappoints. Weinstein writes with such poetry and ease that your eyes glide across the pages like blades on ice and, before you know it, you're nearing the end of the book.
The characters Weinstein has created in this fantastic debut novel are likable, sympathetic and very, very real. These are people whom you pass in the street every day, who you share the air wi
L.A. Nicholson
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Rochelle Weinstein has created an original teenage character here --
a highly intelligent, flippant, vulnerable 16-year-old cynic who views the world through narrowed eyes while waiting for the other shoe to drop following the death of her father. Although Jessica is subject to the same lovesickness as most teenage girls with their first crush, she has her guard up every minute. Good thing, too -- Jonas is all about his own carefully mapped future.

When we meet Jess again, she is a wife, mother, a
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a great read. The story touches on many different experiences we have all gone through in our relationship with love. It is funny and sad, you laugh and cry. And that to me is the basis of a great book. The author takes you through a journey of life, which always includes ups and downs, happy moments and sad ones. I recommend this book to everyone who loves to read a great story. Amazing effort for a first time author. I hope all of the future author's books are this compelling. ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, 2012, fiction
Through the first couple of chapters I struggled to find a way to get into the story of “ What we Leave Behind”. For me, the young Jessica Parker felt forced, unbelievable and just written too old for her age. As she matured, an emotional complicated story developed. In my opinion, Weinstein is successful in creating a controversial, heartbreaking and still heartwarming story the reader can connect with and contemplate what they would do. It’s a nice thoughtful package.

*** Please note I receiv
Elisa D'amico
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The pages of Ms. Weinstein's novel seem to turn themselves. The words invite the reader to take place in a tango of the deepest love and the most tragic loss. Women, especially, will find part of themselves in Jessica. I am truly impressed with this author and I look forward to meeting these characters again.

I attended one of Ms. Weinstein's book-signings, and I must say that I am even more impressed now. She is a wonderful author, and a wonderful person. I can't wait for the next novel.
June Lorenzo
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed reading this book. I'm anxiously awaiting Rochelle's next book. What I enjoyed the most was the twists in the story -- it's the kind of book you just can't put down --, you just can't wait to see what happens next! I also enjoyed how Rochelle weaves in the unexpected, but quickly fills in to where you immediately realize what's happening. When a book makes you feel like you are part of the story, that for me, is good writing! Thanks for sharing your talent . . . :) ...more
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Good throw-back to childhood crushes and first loves. The author really put me in the moment and took me back to those tender, teen years of crushes. Unfortunately, the author then sped through key events in the main character's life and fast-forwarded to the present tense. I connected with the character early, but then felt I didn't understand her as she became an adult, dealing with adult issues. Nevertheless, I wanted to know how it ended, so I kept reading. The ending was satisfying. ...more
Nov 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Here's what I left behind...hours of my time that I'm never getting back. I'll save you that same fate...don't read this book! I can't even tell you how many times I rolled my eyes, laughed at the absurdities that were on every page of this read, and just plain skipped everything but dialogue to finish this tortuous book. Whew, on to something better I hope! ...more
Rochelle Allison
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Intense book...I read it in one sitting, into the early morning hours, unable to put it down. I appreciate the reverence with which she tells the one is perfect but they are all...understandable - and likeable, despite their many flaws.
I liked that the ending was different from what I'd initially hoped, but remained perfect anyway...
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I had NO idea where this was going. I feel at one point I was Jessica! From the way she was as a teen to the Mom who had to bury a child I was touched. I read the entire thing in a day! Great story and from a Mom who had to bury a child it was soooo good.
Dawn Barker
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed the book from start to finish. I could not put it down!
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just wonderful... beautifully written story about the choices people make and the consequences they have to deal with.
Valerie Mitrani
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down! Such a great story - I loved it. ...more
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2017 Reading Chal...: What We Leave Behind 3 18 Apr 02, 2016 09:46AM  

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Rochelle B. Weinstein is the USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of emotionally driven women's fiction, including This Is Not How It Ends, Somebody's Daughter, Where We Fall, The Mourning After, and What We Leave Behind. Rochelle spent her early years in sunny South Florida, always with a book in hand, raised by the likes of Sidney Sheldon and Judy Blume. Before becoming a full-time writer, Ro ...more

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