WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND by Jessica Verdi is an authentic and moving story about a teenager coming to terms with fatherhood.
The day Meg dies of cancer, he leaves boyfriend Ryden with a newborn daughter. Without time to grieve, Ryden is thrust into the world of infant care. In search of answers, he seeks out Meg’s journals and a father he’s never met. Will Ryden’s quest for answers help him let go of the past?
Verdi’s present-tense narrative seamlessly weaves in flashbacks and journal entries to help readers empathize with Ryden’s feelings of guilt and inadequacy. The fast-paced plot and well-defined characters combined with the author’s spot-on description of the harsh reality of teen fatherhood make for an outstanding work of realistic fiction for today’s young adult readers.
Librarians will find this YA novel to be an excellent addition to their small, but growing “teen fatherhood” collection. Both males and female teens will be hooked by the realistic portrayal of teen parenthood.
To learn more about Jessica Verdi, go to http://jessicaverdi.com/.
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on August 4, 2015. ARC from Edelweiss.