Saturday, January 30, 2016


What You Left Behind
Soccer jock and all-around popular kid, Ryden never really noticed Meg and didn't know that she had had a crush on him for quite some time.  As he thinks back on that day in class when her warning saved his ass from landing in a wad of gum, he still smiles.  But the smile quickly disappears because Meg is dead.

After that day in class, Ryden fell hard for Meg.  Her dark hair and dark eyes captured his heart.  He tried to stay cool, but that didn't last long.  Then he learned that Meg had cancer.  He vowed to help her fight it and was sure she would win.  She would have except for the fact that he had unprotected sex with her, got her pregnant, and was the cause of her refusing her second round of chemo.

Ryden still can't believe that Meg has been dead for months and he has been a father for months.  He is only seventeen for God's sake, and he has little Hope as a daily reminder that he killed Meg.

At least Ryden's mother is supportive.  She is lending a hand when it comes to raising Hope, but summer is almost over, and his mom is pressuring him about what he plans to do once school starts.  Ryden is actually more worried about what will happen when soccer practice starts in a couple of weeks.  He is counting on this final year as an all-star goalie to earn him a scholarship at UCLA.  Deep down he knows his mom is trying to prepare him for the fact that he won't be going to college because of Hope, but Ryden doesn't see why he can't figure out a way to be both a college student and a dad.

With the dream of his future on the line, the stress of learning to care for an infant, and painful memories of Meg, Ryden is trying to hold it all together.  Coming across some hidden notebooks of Meg's that reveal some of her deepest thoughts, threatens to tear Ryden apart.  Can he have everything or will his life be changed forever by the choices of the past?

Author Jessica Verdi packs a powerful punch in WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND.  Readers' hearts will break for Ryden and all he has lost. 

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