Review: BUT THEN I CAN BACK by Estelle Laure



Estelle Laure
Published: April 4th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320

Eden Jones, a 17-year-old girl, feels lost after surviving a near fatal accident. Unable to connect with her family and friends, Eden forms an unlikely relationship with Joe, a boy who comes to the hospital to visit Jasmine, a friend who may soon be gone forever. Eden is the only person who can get through to Jasmine, but is she brave enough to face a world that’s bigger and more magical than she ever would have allowed?


It’s so damn sweet to be nothing but a riversong.

But Then I Came Back is charming. That’s the best way I think to describe this book. Laure’s writing style is unique and it hooks you right in, giving you this all-around lighthearted feeling when reading.

This is a companion novel to This Raging Light, but it can be read as a standalone. The book is very easy to follow, and in no way does the story gets confusing or like some information is missing. Laure does a very good job of making But Then I Came Back stand on its own, and readers should have no problem if they choose to read this book first.

The chapter titles are a really great and funny way to introduce the main character’s voice: Eden. They directly relate to what is going to happen, and are kind of a little window into who Eden is as a person. I really loved reading them, and they are a very good addition to the overall feel of the book, which is both humorous and a bit melancholic.

There’s a bit of a paranormal element to Eden’s story, which only serves to grab your attention. It makes you doubt this reality a little bit, but all around is a very interesting aspect of the book. It ties with the main plot and the eternal question: where do people go to when they’re between life and death?

Eden herself is a great character. She has a strong voice and a very particular sense of humor, which helps add the lightheartedness to the story, but sometimes serves to give more weight to it. It is a learning experience reading about her journey as she relearns the world around her after her accident, and through her we see the importance of knowing the things around us and the people are know are worth living for.

The pace is a little slow once you pass the halfway mark, at least in my opinion. It takes a while for things to move along, as the story focuses more on Eden’s day-to-today stuff, and it’s a bit of a struggle to get through. The ending is super sweet, though, and a beautiful conclusion to Eden’s story.

But Then I Came Back is definitely worth a read, especially to YA fans who like a little paranormal in their books. It’s filled with charm and striking sentences, and it passes a very important message: life is worth living.



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