Before We Go

Before We Go

by Amy Bright
     
 

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Visiting her dying grandmother in hospital is not what 17 year-old Emily wants to be doing for New Year’s Eve, but it’s not like she has anything else to do. Leaving the hospital, she meets a teen-aged boy named Alex, who is also leaving. When he invites her to go for a burger with him and his sister, she goes along. What Emily doesn’t know is that

Overview

Visiting her dying grandmother in hospital is not what 17 year-old Emily wants to be doing for New Year’s Eve, but it’s not like she has anything else to do. Leaving the hospital, she meets a teen-aged boy named Alex, who is also leaving. When he invites her to go for a burger with him and his sister, she goes along. What Emily doesn’t know is that Alex, too, is dying, their meeting is not a coincidence, and she is in for a New Year’s Eve unlike any other.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Impressively, Bright, a first-time novelist, has crafted a novel whose entire events, character development and storyline take place in less than twelve hours. Despite the short time frame, the pacing of the novel is relatively well set; never at one point did the reader feel rushed. This structured pacing is likely due to the author's adept use at alternating blocks of dialogue with descriptive text. In this way, the reader was privy to both descriptions of the surrounding environment, which allowed for the contextualization of the characters? actions, as well as the teenage vocabulary that permeated the dialogue, allowing for a clearer understanding of their actions and motivations. . .
"Teenage audiences will take a liking to Before We Go, given the age-appropriate dialogue that peppers the book?s more than 200 pages. While the read was off to a slow start, the balanced description with dialogue and the absence of a clichéd ending showcased the storyline that was impressively developed within the short time frame of this novel."
Recommended.
-- CM Magazine
VOYA - Sarah Flowers
This debut novel takes place in Victoria, B.C., during the course of one New Year's Eve. Emily is leaving the hospital where she has been visiting her terminally ill grandmother when she runs into Alex, who invites her to join him and his sister, Lucy, at a nearby fast-food place. Emily, who has been alone since her grandmother went into the hospital, agrees, and the three teenagers spend the evening together. What Emily does not know is that Alex is also terminally ill, and that he and Lucy have an ulterior (though benign) motive for seeking out Emily's company. The truth is revealed in bits and pieces as the night goes on, and they drive around town, stop at a carnival, and go to a New Year's Eve party. Because the story is told variously from the points of view of Emily, Lucy, and Alex, the reader learns what is going on long before Emily does. The technique works, because it gives the reader the opportunity to watch Emily's reaction carefully and to empathize with her. Bright creates characters who are easy to care about, and flashbacks flesh-out their back stories. Despite the compressed time frame, the story moves at a deliberate, gentle pace. Teens who like character-focused realistic fiction will appreciate this one. Reviewer: Sarah Flowers
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—As Emily leaves her grandmother's hospital room on New Year's Eve, she has no idea what's in store before the clock strikes midnight. She meets Alex in the elevator and decides to go with him to meet his sister. The siblings convince Emily to spend the night with them, and together they begin an adventure that takes them all over Victoria, British Columbia. Unknown to Emily, Alex and Lucy have a few secrets they intend to share before the night is out. The first is easier to guess-Alex escaped the hospital and is dying from leukemia. The second is even more unsettling and will change Emily's life forever. While it's hard to believe that Emily doesn't catch on to Alex's sickness until halfway through the book, this is one of the few implausible events. The pacing of the story and plot are done well, with the occasional flashback breaking the rhythm. There's some swearing and underage drinking, but nothing too heavy. This book may need to be booktalked to garner attention.Natalie Struecker, Rock Island Public Library, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781552443057
Publisher:
Red Deer Press
Publication date:
05/25/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
565 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Before We Go


By Amy Bright

Red Deer Press

Copyright © 2012 Amy Bright
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780889954717

"Sometimes I want to hit Alex in the shoulder like I used to. With mythumb over my knuckles the way they taught us in gym class. I know theplace where you can hit people that's sort of in between the muscles.It really hurts.
Stuff like that's a game because he's my brother. I mean, I hit himknow and then maybe at dinner he says something at the table like, "HeyMom and Dad, Erin didn't go to school today" and then we'll be evenuntil next time.
We kind of lost that. It's gone because of the bruises and thenosebleeds that he gets when something happens like normal only hisbody thinks he's dying. So I stick out my tongue instead. Alex looks atthe TV and loses his smile because he knows its missing, our usual backand forth."



Continues...

Excerpted from Before We Go by Amy Bright Copyright © 2012 by Amy Bright. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Amy Bright is an essayist, short story writer, and blogger who has lived in Alberta, British Columbia, California, and Florida. She currently lives in Lethbridge, Alberta. She received her BA from Mount Allison University, New Brunswick and her MA from the University of Victoria, BC. Her academic work can be found in the Journal of Children’s Literature and Studies in Canadian Literature. Before We Go is Amy’s debut novel.

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