Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Friday, October 23, 2015

What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi…

How I Heard About It:  I either received an ARC of this or found it while browsing on Net Galley.  The title and cover grabbed my attention.  After reading the "book blurb" I thought it sounded like an intriguing story.  

What It Is About:  Ryden is a teenage father.  He is living with his mother and doesn't know his father.  After dating Meg for short time she became pregnant while fighting a battle with cancer.  All she wanted was to have the baby no matter the consequences.  After giving birth to Hope she loses the battle and passes away.  This leaves Ryden alone with a newborn baby.  Meg's family wants nothing to do with him which makes life all the more difficult.  Ryden is a star soccer player hoping to get a scholarship to college.  Ryden and Hope are living with his mother, he is working at the local grocery store, going to classes, and trying to make the most of his senior year on the soccer team.  He learns that it is quite difficult to manage of all these.  When Meg's sister finds one of three journals that she kept, Ryden feels like she is leaving a message for him.  He is bound and determined to find out what she is trying to tell him.  While trying to figure out his future as a high school father, he begins a "relationship" with Toni who is a co-worker at the grocery store.  He battles whether to tell her the entire truth or keep certain aspects from here.

What I Thought Of It:  This was a great read and I really enjoyed it.  I liked how the "father" was left with the baby instead of the mother.  It gave it a different twist.  Ryden was an awesome character and the author did a wonderful job of representing him in a real way.  He was a great guy, but also a typical teenage guy that didn't necessarily want the responsibility of being a father.  The supporting characters added so much to the overall story.  One of the strongest relationships between characters was with Ryden and Toni.  The mystery of the journals also brought an intriguing mystery to the entire story.  This was an easy read with a great story.

Who Should Read It:  This would be a sure-fire hit with teenage readers.  There are many aspects of the story that young adult readers could relate to.  It is also a fascinating story that will drawn the reader in.  Adult readers that enjoy young adult reads, will find this a pleasing read.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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