I can only describe The Beginning of After as a softly powerful account of how one teenage girl survives a terrible loss. This book is beautifully written and uncomfortably insightful. I felt as if I was listening to the main character, Laurel's private thoughts and feelings as she faced an unimaginable tragedy with the sudden loss of her family. The author paints a vivid and intuitive portrait of a teen trying to cope with this profound loss while also dealing with normal teen situations like prom, SAT's, and relationships.David was suffering from a similar loss as his family was also involved in the crash that killed Laurel's family. The dynamic between Laurel and David was fascinating to witness. Both suffering from rage, guilt, sorrow, and unbelievable grief, they were alternately drawn to one another, yet unsure of each other. Watching how David struggled to cope with everything made my heart break for him.The Beginning of After is a wonderful novel that travels through the lowest points of sorrow and leaves the reader with a feeling of hope. I highly recommend this for all ages.