Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Before Now and After Then by Peter Monn

I have a tendency to avoid coming-of-age stories and love stories. The vast majority of them, for me, have ranged from bad to meh. That being said, I really enjoyed this book!

Within the first 20-25 pages, the narrator/main character speaks of grief and loss in one of the most realistic, honest ways I have read from a contemporary author. Peter Monn has the greatly appreciated ability of describing emotions in a real way, nothing flowery or over dramatic. This theme of "real" continues throughout the entire book. No matter how strange any of the characters may seem, I know people like that. This is especially true of Danny (narrator) and his high school peers, still trying to find out who they are. Granted I didn't meet my real-life version of Cher until college, but the fact remains, these people are realistic. 

The love story that is central to this book may come off as nothing more than a whirlwind romance, nothing but the product of two teens who think they're in love, but they moved at about the same pace that me and husband did as adults. I appreciated the Monn's portrayal of love as something that isn't based on romance. Rather it is what it is and romance is just one manifestation of it.There is familial love, love for your friends, etc.

Overall, The Before Now and After Then, by Peter Monn, is a moving book that I couldn't put down. There was nothing in this book that felt out of place, fanciful, or overly emotional. It is a very real story of young man who goes through the trials and tribulations of being a homosexual teenager starting a new school after the loss of his twin brother. I happily give this book 5 hoots and recommend it to all!


***This book was provided in electronic format by the publisher, Pen Name Publishing. This does not have an effect on my review.

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