The front cover drew me to this – partly because it was so intriguing, but also because it hints at something innocent being hidden or masked in some way.
Described as a distinctive coming-of-age novel ‘Before Life Happened’ is the first in a series. The second is due out in January 2017, and I think this sets us up well for developing a story while maintaining our interest in established characters.
Hayden Wilson and her brothers are left devastated by the sudden death of their parents. Nobody is sure what to do, when they are so used to having someone guide them. The brothers are doing what they can, but Hayden is really struggling to accept what has happened.
In this story we see things go from bad to really awful for Hayden. Clearly struggling to cope with her grief over the loss of her parents, Hayden shuts herself away from those who could help. She had people looking out for her, but not in the way that meant they could make any difference.
Though the story was quite entertaining I was surprised at just how quickly Hayden gets into trouble. The events that she gets caught up in are beyond the wildest imaginings of many of us, but many of the key issues are resolved in some way. I’m not totally convinced by the conduct of some of the adult characters in the novel, but I think this will have its fans.