The Moment Before
“Don’t get me wrong. I loved my sister. I never, not once, wished her dead.”
Brady and Sabine Wilson are sisters born eleven months apart, but they couldn’t be more different. Popular Sabine, the head cheerleader dating the high school hunk, seems to have all the luck, while her younger, artsy sister “Brady Brooder” is a loner who prefers the sidelines to the limelight.
After Sabine dies in a horrific cheerleading accident, grief unravels Brady and her family. Once recognized for her artistic talent, 17-year-old Brady finds herself questioning the value of everything she once held dear. Her best friend betrays her. Her parents’ marriage is crumbling. And the boy everyone blames for the accident seems to be her only ally in the search for answers in the wake of her sister’s death. As an unlikely friendship emerges, Brady learns more about Sabine – and love – than she bargained for.
The overall feeling that I had about this book was along the lines of Meh. I know that’s a very inarticulate way to put it, but it just didn’t make me have any intense feelings about the book. It wasn’t as if the book was bad or boring, it just didn’t wow me in any way. The storyline didn’t compel me, I really didn’t care about it. And this makes me very sad because isn’t that the best part of reading books? Feeling that connection with the story or the people. Don’t get me wrong, there really wasn’t anything bad about it. I did finish it pretty fast so that’s something that can be said for the book.
Brady seemed like an okay girl but she didn’t have a very distinct voice. Especially since a boy came into play. She’s definitely one of the girls who sees a broad chest and swoons endlessly. Apparently most of her personality goes out the window as soon as there’s a guy to like. And we don’t even really get to know this guy, he’s so hollow that it’s hard to feel a connection or even understand why Brady feels that click with him. Martha was a weird character in this book. I don’t really know why Brady kept turning back to her, because she sounded like a horrible friend. And I think that at certain times Brady realized that, and yet she kept letting herself be roped in again. But I liked the family, mostly because it was already dysfunctional before Sabine’s death. It sounds weird when I say it like that but it really helps to make the story feel more true to life in that aspect. How many families do you know that are just a big happy family without anything going wrong? There’s bound to be some tension between the parents and the kids or perhaps amongst the children or parents themselves.
As I try to look at the story from far it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. There’s a lot of stuff that’s happening throughout the book that is not really bad, but it’s just never really situated in the whole of the story. Some things are never really clear as to why they had to happen or what their importance to the story was. Certain events or subjects were brought up and they didn’t lead to anything, no revelation, no big story arc, no nothing. And this was just a let down. because the writing was very promising, just like the synopsis. At times the writing was very poignant and it had a very distinct look on things, and this was great, but then it would just fade away again.
I’m torn between giving this book a two star or a three star rating. Because this book could have been a lot better if Suzy had just given Brady a stronger voice, gotten that poignant writing into more parts of the book. And most of all, if she had just connected certain themes and events more to the story. But I’m a pretty generous rater, and I really didn’t dislike this book either. It just didn’t do much for me either way.