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Early Departures

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,415 ratings  ·  394 reviews
Justin A. Reynolds, author of Opposite of Always, delivers another smart, funny, and powerful stand-alone YA contemporary novel, with a speculative twist in which Jamal’s best friend is brought back to life after a freak accident . . . but they only have a short time together before he will die again.

Jamal’s best friend, Q, doesn’t know he’s about to die . . . again.

He als
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 22nd 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Maeghan K My library has labeled it as Fantasy, which I am conflicted about, but this is truly a hard one to nail down. I found it overwhelmingly contemporary, …moreMy library has labeled it as Fantasy, which I am conflicted about, but this is truly a hard one to nail down. I found it overwhelmingly contemporary, with a dash of sci-fi. This reminded me a lot of Adam Silvera's work, so I would consider labeling it the same way that you've labeled his more contemporary-leaning books, like They Both Die at the End.(less)
Jupiter Hamlet Moody-McIntyre Yes 100%. The banter (and really everything) is at the same - if not a higher - level of awesome as the Opposite of Always.

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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,415 ratings  ·  394 reviews

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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Wow this book was HEAVY, but also managed to be light and hopeful somehow? But the emotions, oh my god it really drained me. Not in a bad way. But this is very much a story about death and loss, grief and how it can consume you. You can't help but feel for Jamal, feel for Quincy, feel for all of the characters and the loss they have experienced. I feel like I haven't read a book this emotional in a while. It was beautiful though. I love Justin A. Reynold's writing and his characters. And the fac ...more
Justin A Reynolds
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
UPDATE #7:OMFG!?! (as originally posted under this author dude's other very crappy book)

someone please check my blood pressure bc my heart is pounding and NOT in that "i have glorious news" way.

y'all, i heard this dude wrote ANOTHER STUPENDOUSLY SHI**Y BOOK!! this can't be true!! please, please, PUH-LESE someone, anyone, tell me this isn't real!! i mean, the AUDACITY!! the ABSOLUTE NERVE!! i don't wanna believe this but if my far-away observations of this guy are any real indication of his char
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Dang this book had me all up in my feels. I knew it was going to be a bumpy ride going in, but didn't realize how much I'd feel the impact. Another solid Justin A. Reynolds book! ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"I'll always be with you, I'm everywhere you are."

I am officially a puddle of mush. If there is one lesson I took away from this book, it's that we should make every moment count, because we never know how long we have with the people that we love. Sure, that's easier said than done, and "living life to the fullest" sounds like one of those sayings people have plastered on a piece of reclaimed wood hanging in their kitchen, but there is so much truth in these words. While reading this book, I wa
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
Thank you Katherine Tegen Books for the gifted review copy!

When I say Justin A. Reynolds is one of my favorite authors, I mean he's one of my favorite authors. No questions asked. I read Opposite of Always last year and it was one of my favorite books! This was definitely no exception. I've come to expect two things from Justin A. Reynolds. A lot of laughing and a lot of crying. I mean I finished the book I ended my day happy and sad all at the same time.

The book is contemporary but has a bit of
Bridget Masters
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If it's anything like Opposite of Always, I'm here for it. ...more
“How are we supposed to leave the past behind, if it doesn’t leave us too?”

Thank you to Epic Reads and the publisher for this ARC! All opinions are my own.

I... honestly don't know if I've ever cried so hard while reading a book. When I tell you I was bawling for the final 40 pages, I mean literally, tears were streaming down my face so hard, I had trouble reading.

But, to be clear—it was in the best way possible. Early Departures was emotional, raw, thought-provoking, and so worth rea
This was a really good one and so happy that it was a tbr jar picked! Thanks tbr jars!(:
May 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
this book was so good!!! the way that the chapters were written in like a ‘countdown’ format (it started on chapter 100 or so and ended on chapter 1), and the entire concept of the story were so well written. my only complaint is that the first half of the book was kind of confusing and i didn’t really know what was going on until the middle, but that may have just been because i was reading fast. solid 4.5/5!
Gerardine  Betancourt
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Think about how you live if you knew you only have a few days left
In this book, Jamal Anderson has been angry with his best friend Quinn for 2 years after a call from his friend led to the death of Jamal's parents.
When an accident occurs in which Quinn passes away, the world of Jamal and Quinn's mother falls apart. In the hospital they discover that there is a place called the Center in which they revive or reanimate a person for a number of days so that their loved ones can say their goodbyes.
Amy Imogene Reads
Jun 09, 2020 marked it as to-read
YES. YES. YES! Opposite of Always was one of my favorite reads of 2019, can't WAIT to read this one.
(My review of Opposite of Always here.)
Bang Bang Books
Sep 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Great concept but the execution...

Issues I Had With This Book
* The Pacing was a Bit Off- After Q is reanimated, the pacing goes a bit too fast. Q and Jamal had a big falling out where Jamal just ghosted Q and they have one little bitty conversation about it and that's all. I know sometimes in real life when you have a falling out with a long lost friend, sometimes it only takes an apology to fix everything but I don't want to read that in a book. I want to see them get angry and cry and absolve.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My first book from Justin Reynolds and I am a fan!

I was pleasantly surprised on how amazing this book was. I read this book without first reading what it’s about and I stayed away from early reviews.

This book tackled the subject matter of loss and grief with a speculative twist and scientific element to answer theoretical questions about life and death, bending the stages of grief, and a creative plot that addresses families, friendships and love.

The writing was beautiful and deep, characters
Laura Swallow
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Another amazing book by Justin A. Reynolds that I read in a day! His writing is so funny and so interesting that I can’t stop reading it. I feel like I can really connect with the characters and his writing is a just a little bit outside of reality that it keeps me guessing. Can’t wait to see what he puts out next!
Never Without a Book
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a good cry, then this book is it!. I could use a hug now right about now.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

Ah, it's another book in which I don't know how to do it justice because it was that fabulous, but again, I'll do my best! Early Departures is such a beautiful story of family, friendship, love, and loss. It was seriously one of the most moving books I have ever read, frankly.

Jamal has been through it. He's currently living with his pregnant sister after his parents died in a tragic car
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book feels like a friend finding you alone and lost, taking you by the shoulders, and shaking you awake. You awaken from a long, dark and all encompassing daze of sadness, only to find yourself crying with joy in a warm, loving hug that eventually, although it has saved you from despair, has to end.

*** to any concerned friends reading this review, I am not the said person in despair, I’m being hypothetical, im all good tucked up in bed in my Star Wars pjs with a peppermint tea thinking how
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to start this review with a warning, get the tissues at the ready. You will need them. You will definitely need them. I did. I needed them. A lot of them. Forever Ends on Friday is a book that I really enjoyed. There’s a lot to connect with, with wonderful characters and a heartbreaking story. It’s the kind of book you pick up and struggle to put down. One of the highlights of this book is the connection between the characters that Justin creates. They are so sincere and heartfelt. I l ...more
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super lovely. Its an amazing examination of grief, depression and forgiveness. With such a heavy topic Mr Reynolds treated these topics with care and tenderness. I was able to both cry and laugh and in the end my heart was filled with love.
Joanna Meyer
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the perfect combo of punch-you-in-the-heart feels, pacy plot, and sharp, vivid characters, with a light sci-fi element that ties everything together. I couldn’t read it fast enough.
Anika  | Chapters of May
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
After only two books, Justin A. Reynolds has become one of my favourite young adult authors. His novels are exceptionally compelling, emotionally memorable, and always worth the adventure.

Like Opposite of Always, Forever Ends on a Friday is contemporary but has sci-fi elements that add excitement to a wholesome foundation. In the book, Jamal’s best friend Quincy dies in a freak accident. Their friendship was in ruins after Jamal blamed Quincy for his parents' death, and now Jamal is heartbroken
this book was just so witty and heartbreaking and impactful all at the same time,, I loved it so much
Jonathan David Pope
"Because it's hard to let go even when you know it's coming" (438)

Jamal and Quincy used to be friends. But when Quincy drowns, while saving the life of another, all of the regrets Jamal has about the way their friendship ended come catapulting back. New technology allow Quincy to be re-animated, but there is a catch. Can Jamal fix things before Quincy dies again? How do you learn to let pain, grudges, and even people go?

I have to say that I enjoyed reading this. The concept is cool, and the exec
Jan 15, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you so much to those at Pan Macmillan for sending me an advanced finished copy of Forever Ends on Friday and for letting me take part in the wonderful blog tour!

This book has such an intriguing premise that it's just one of those books that you have to know what happens in it. There's no build up as such in terms of the world itself and it is very similar to our world, with a touch of sci-fit; I hadn't quite realised how sci-fi it was going in and so I did have to read a couple of pages
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a second chance, to say goodbye when you couldn't before?
Wow. The premise of this book had me worried. Let me tell you that this was simultaneously the best and worst time for me to read this book. But it was so good! I love every moment. Even though Jamal could be annoying, I understood a lot of what he was going through. And the other charac
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to BookSparks, the author and the publisher for sending me a finished copy in exchange for an honest review/promotion

Jamal and Quincy were best friends until grief over Jamal's parents' death buried their relationship. But when Quincy dies in a freak accident, Jamal can't get over that he didn't get to apologize. Except there's a company offering to give Q a second chance at life. He could have anywhere from 24 hours to 2 months to live again. And Jamal is determined to repair their fr
Samantha (WLABB)
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, 5-stars, arcs, diverse, scifi

Jamal shut out his lifelong best friend, Q, after losing his parents in a car accident, but when he saw his former friend in danger, he didn't hesitate to help. Unfortunately, he was too late. However, Q was chosen for a new program, which would bring him back to life, temporarily. Given this second chance, Jamal was determined to mend their friendship, but he was also racing the clock as he tried to repair the two years of damage.

If you could, would you opt to come back to life? To take tha
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, ya
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for this ARC

I loved the way Early Departures is structured. I love the idea of bringing someone back, of having that last goodbye, of living that last few hours like they're the most important hours on earth.

What I loved most about this book is how each and every character connected with each other. There was so much love here, so much care and I had goosebumps at the most random moments.

While reading I kept thinking: This is an important book. And I ke
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Early Departures is an emotional story about forgiveness, family, and second chances. Of taking each moment as they come, never knowing if we will ever get another. It begins with a friendship falling apart and breaking down. When words don't make sense anymore and bonds that were thought to be permanent are broken. Jamal is still reeling from the loss of his parents. He's angry, hurt
Feb 25, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
i wanted to love this, but sadly, i was underwhelmed. i think that was mostly due to my lack of emotionally connection to the character, but ultimately, i think that's just on my end. the prose is gorgeous, and the book itself raises very important questions, and even touches on ethics (because there is people being brought back to life after dying, and whether that's right or not), but it wasn't deep enough or didn't explore as much as i'd wanted. otherwise, i still think it's quite a moving bo ...more
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justin a. reynolds has always wanted to be a writer. The earliest documentation of this desire was recorded on a sheet of green, learn-how-to-write-with-a-jumbo-pencil ruled kindergarten paper, which can be found prominently displayed in his mom’s office. OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS, his debut novel, was an Indies Introduce Top Ten Debut, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2019, translated in 17 languag ...more

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