What You Left Behind [Review & Giveaway]

Posted August 3, 2015 by Stephanie in Review / 0 Comments

What You Left Behind [Review & Giveaway]What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
Published by Sourcebooks on August 4th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic
Pages: 358
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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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 is an emotional and heart-wrenching story that I loved. Jessica Verdi brings us this story about a seventeen year old, Ryden Brooks and how he is now the father of a newborn baby. Oh and this baby, no longer has a mother. She died from cancer. So Jessica Verdi tells us this story about Ryden who is trying to do best by Hope (his baby) and who is trying to do what Meg (his dead girlfriend) would have wanted him to do.

Ryden goes through a lot of changes within this book. The loss of his girlfriend, the birth of his baby, his soccer career, his dream school, etc. There is a lot on Ryden’s plate and he has to somehow fit it all in. Throughout this book, Ryden goes on a journey trying to find journals that Meg left behind. He also goes through a journey on how he grows.

As much as I loved this book. I could not give it a full 5 stars because there was just one thing missing. More father/daughter time. We don’t see much of it. And there are times where it is a little depressing that he doesn’t want to tell this girl that he has a daughter. I mean, I get it. Sometimes, you just need one outlet where no one really knows who you are and you can just be yourself. But it really bothered me.

But even with that complaint. I still loved this book. It was different. We hardly ever get teenage pregnancies from the father’s viewpoint and I loved that. The narration is beautiful and raw. And I loved how Meg had this presence throughout the book without being physically there. I mean yes, she was physically there in the flashbacks. But the reader knows that she’s not really there anymore. And it’s just this beautifully poignant story that you won’t be sorry for reading.

Let’s talk about it!
Did you read What You Left Behind? Or any other of Jessica’s books? What did you think of them? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 🙂

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