Author: Jessica Verdi
Publication: August 4th 2015 by Sourcebooks
Genre: Young Adult ~ Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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?
THis book revolves around Ryden. Six months ago his girlfriend, Meg, died giving birth to their daughter, Hope, because she refused another round of chemo therapy.
So obviously this book deals with some tough subjects. Usually I'm kinda on the fence about these type of books but I really liked this one. Most books featuring teen parents are in the girl's point of view but with What You Left Behind it was in the guy's. I loved that. It was so good.
Another thing I loved was how realistic it was. It really was like how I expected a seventeen year old single dad would think. Ryden struggled a lot and there was definitely no sugar coating the hard moments but I really liked it.
Ryden's mom was the best ever. She was so supportive through it all. She needs an award!
My only minor point was the romance between Ryden and Joni. It wasn't like I didn't like the girl but I just couldn't get on board with it. It felt almost like the story could've done without the romance between them and just let those two be friends. But it is what it is and I still thought it was a really good story.
My favorite thing, however, were the entries from Meg's journal that were about what Meg was thinking and feeling through it all when she was alive, that Ryden had found. I loved that.
About the Author:
Jessica Verdi is a young adult author who writes envelope-pushing stories about not-so-pretty real-life issues, but always with a positive spin.
Though she’s always been a bookworm (her childhood was basically defined by the philosophy that working your way through giant stacks of library books is far superior to playing outside), she remained convinced throughout high school and college that the stage—rather than the page—was meant to be her creative outlet. After nearly ten years pounding the NYC pavement auditioning for musicals (and sometimes actually getting cast in them), she got an idea for a novel. That novel was an adult magical realism story, and while it will never see the light of day—nope, don’t ask—it was the book that started her love affair with writing. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else.
Jess received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School and works as an editor at a romance novel publisher. She loves all animals, from the cute and cuddly to the large and freakish, has been a vegetarian for most of her life, is a little too obsessed with TV shows about vampires, and has an amazing group of writer friends who keep her sane.
Jess lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and dog.