Welcome to the Sunday Street Team!!! I am pleased to have Jessica Verdi as one of August’s featured authors.
What You Left Behind is unlike any other book that I have read. Sure, it’s about teenage parents, cancer, and everyday high school struggles, but it’s more than that. It teaches what the true definition of family is- and it shows that nothing is ever black and white. To be honest, the book didn’t end how I expected. Actually, that’s because I had no idea throughout the entire book how it would conclude. It was one of those books that encompassed lots of different thoughts and ideas which made it virtually impossible to predict the ending.
Meet Ryden- he’s basically the king of his high school, an incredible soccer player, and…a teenage dad. Yes, you read that right. Ryden has a daughter, Hope, and that’s not where the story ends. Hope’s mother was Meg, aka Ryden’s girlfriend who had cancer and passed away while giving birth to Hope. His life certainly wasn’t easy as it was filled with obstacles along the way.
Throughout the book, Ryden went through a transformation. In the beginning, he was focused on getting a scholarship to play at UCLA while trying to distract himself from thinking about Meg and Hope. After all, thinking about his dead girlfriend wasn’t exactly a great mood booster, nor was ruminating over the fact that Hope, his daughter, didn’t like him. But, near the end, well, I can’t say too much, but let’s just say Ryden allowed himself to open his eyes and view the world in a new light.
What You Left Behind is a heavy book, and I would suggest that you take your time while reading it. I personally needed to digest the book over several sittings as opposed to reading it all at once. I definitely recommend this book and give it 4/5stars.
Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog. Visit her at www.jessicaverdi.com and follow her on Twitter @jessverdi.
And of course, there is an awesome giveaway!