August SST: What You Left Behind Review + GIVEAWAY!!!

Posted August 23, 2015 by Nori in Book Reviews, Giveaway, Street Team / 1 Comment


Welcome to the Sunday Street Team!!! I am pleased to have Jessica Verdi as one of August’s featured authors.

What You Left Behind 
Jessica Verdi
Release Date: 08/04/2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?


Princess Sofia Regular

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.

 About the Author:

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 and follow her on Twitter @jessverdi.

And of course, there is an awesome giveaway!

Click Here To Enter!


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