Review: What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

by - 12:59

Title: What You Left Behind
Author: Jessica Verdi
Publishers: SourceBooks
Page Count: 320

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

I was so excited to read this book so when I was able to get my hands on an advanced E copy I was very very happy. For the most part of this book I was not disappointed. This book plot wise took a very different turn to what I was expecting but nevertheless I still found it entertaining even through some of the problems I had with it.

The plot itself was well thought out and executed I thought. Going into this book without knowing too much about it definitely made me unaware of what the general plot was but it was not what I was thinking. The main two plots I think are about how Ryden deals with being a single, teenage father and the other plot is him trying to work out the messages hidden in Meg's journals. I am sure that I liked the journal plot so much more because the book in these parts didn't lack excitement and I didn't feel bored which I sometimes felt reading about Ryden and his baby.

As for the characters in this book, the only two characters I really liked were Joni and Alan. I didn't really like Ryden all that much. I think throughout this entire book he had his head in the wrong place and was just generally being a bit of an idiot. I do understand that his situation would cause him to act like that but I started getting really annoyed with him because he seemed at times too brash and didn't use his head.

I didn't like Meg as soon as I read about her because I knew something about their relationship was off which was later confirmed in the book. I also wasn't a huge fan of Ryden's mother. I did admire her and appreciate her presence in the book but she seems all too unrealistic to me.

As for Joni and Alan, I thought that their characters had a lot more depth than the rest of them. Joni wasn't your typical love interest like Meg was and Alan was quirky and an all round good character.

I enjoyed the writing in this book. I think that the parts from Meg's journal and the contrast between Meg's thoughts and Ryden's thoughts were well constructed and it was easy to read from both perspectives. This book was not a thriller or action packed by a long shot but the writing made this book such a quick and easy read.

The ending of this book, I thought really added to the book and I very much enjoyed it. I thought it was well planned out and I was constantly wondering what the message was and how this book would end.

Overall I enjoyed this book mostly even though I had my problems with it, particularly the characters, I gave this book...

4/5 Stars

That's all for this review! Thank you for reading and I'll see you again soon!
Happy Reading!

Lily x

Twitter                                                                                                                                      Goodreads

You May Also Like


  1. Ryden definitely had his flaws, but I did still like him and I appreciated the realism with the characters. Like you, I pretty much guessed at the Meg situation early on, so I wasn't surprised when things were revealed. A lot of the characters' behaviors were just hard to swallow.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. This definitely sounds like a different kind of book than I am used to, especially with the father being the one who grows up with the child alone. It sounds pretty character driven novel, and that I could love it too.


Popular Posts