The Moment Before by Suzy Vitello, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Moment Before

The Moment Before

4.0 11
by Suzy Vitello

View All Available Formats & Editions

"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


"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.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Lisa Hazlett
Sisters Brady and Sabine are especially close but practically polar opposites. Sabine is their high school’s star cheerleader, with a seemingly perfect boyfriend, while artsy Brady is a pensive, quiet loner. While cheering, Sabine’s dramatic stunt goes awry and she dies horrifically, leaving friends and family shocked and grieving. The subsequent remembrances and service provide Brady and her parents some solace and distraction, but afterward grief overwhelms them. School politics cause Brady to lose her promised art scholarship to her less talented frenemy, Martha, now cozily dating Nick, Sabine’s boyfriend. Severely shaken by school, friends, and her parents’ crumbling marriage, Brady seeks comfort from Sabine’s voicemail but instead hears disturbing messages. Ironically, Brady asks Connor, the cheerleader wrongly blamed in Sabine’s death, for answers, and during their unlikely friendship he reveals shocking facts about Sabine that will forever change Brady and her parents. Narrated by likeable, witty Brady, this is a good read but also predictable; its two-sisters plot may be overly familiar for some female mystery fans. Brady recognizing Sabine’s secrets (pregnancy, bulimia, abusive boyfriend) in retrospect is realistic, but they are revealed slowly to further the story. Moreover, Nick’s switching from jerk to murderer, prevented from killing Martha by Brady throwing Sabine’s ashes in his face, seems improbable, if not somewhat distasteful. The rocky grief journey of Brady and her parents is painfully realistic, as are Sabine’s problems, and portraying a family fighting to rebuild itself and emerging stronger is gratifying, as is the bittersweet yet satisfying ending. Reviewer: Lisa Hazlett; Ages 11 to 15.
Kirkus Reviews
After a popular cheerleader plunges to her death, her younger sister forges an unexpected relationship with the boy responsible. Brady's sister Sabine died on the floor of their high school gym from a broken neck when she failed to complete a complicated flip. Brady and her family blame Sabine's lift partner, Connor Christopher, for not catching her. But after Connor helps Brady with her car one wintry afternoon, she does an about-face and decides he's not that bad a guy after all. Brady's feelings about Connor are confirmed when Sabine's cellphone voice mail reveals dark truths about her bright sister: Sabine was pregnant, her perfect boyfriend, Nick, verbally abused her, and Connor was the only one who knew. The question of what Brady will do with this information is complicated by the underdeveloped subplots of her parents' deteriorating marriage, her loss of a prestigious school art prize, and her best friend Martha's decision to date Sabine's abusive ex. All of this leads to a bizarre climax in which Brady hurls some of Sabine's cremains at Nick after he drugs and kidnaps Martha, obliterating any suspension of disbelief. While the initial premise is intriguing, the story is crippled by self-conscious dialogue, abrupt transitions and the fact that all relevant information is spelled out instead of shown. Overwrought and half baked. (Fiction. 13 & up)

Product Details

Diversion Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.49(d)
HL780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Moment Before 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. The story and the characters pulled me in immediately and stayed with me days after I finished reading it. I highly recommend The Moment Before, especially for moms who want to share a good book with their teenage daughters. This is definitely one you will both enjoy. Suzy is a phenomenal storyteller and an amazing writer. Amy G
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Serious subjects of loss and abuse are described in authentic, entertaining way. Initially skeptical, knowing it was about high school students, and seeing the cheerleader on the cover, I thought it wouldn't be "adult" enough for my tastes. But I'd heard the novel was excellent, so I thought I'd give it a try.  The protagonist Brady is in grief over her sister's death, and it's the sister who was the cheerleader; Brady expresses herself through visual art. What immediately set this book above and beyond most novels dealing with loss are the depth of characterization, the author's command of the serious subject matter, and the excellent writing, while keeping a lively pace and supplying a captivating plot. There is a subplot about abuse as well. Once I began the book I did not want to set it down. The genuine details that relate to the setting in the Portland, Oregon area add to the fun. There is a hipness to the author's voice that comes from the author's obvious understanding of the real lives of current adolescents. The novel is a great beach read for adults, and will satisfy mature adolescents and readers who are informed enough to relate to the actual experiences of young people today. It was a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying read. For days after, I kept missing Brady, as if she'd become a friend. 
RayBear More than 1 year ago
Popular Sabine and Broody Brady are Irish twins, born 11 months apart. After Sabine dies, Brady is thrust from her sister’s shadow into a world full of drama, complication, and lies. Brady must find out what really happened to her sister before she died and Brady discovers more about herself along the way. This may be a young adult fiction novel but it is not your typical angsty teen book. Though there are sex, drugs, alcohol, and death, they are dealt with in an adult and masterful way. It is almost as if this is not a work of fiction but an atypical and insightful diary-esque book. I felt, immediately, in touch with the main character as she narrated. Vitello has such a way of bending a sentence into a beautiful structure that is almost, but not quite, out of reach for understanding. Phrases seem thrown together, such as “Into the growing awkward I say…” (page 50) but they blow me away with their tight structure. Even the dialogue is spot on, “That’s not fair for me, I realize. You have to make mistakes in order to grow. But I’m begging you. Pleading with you. Do not fall in that murky well right now. Now now.” (page 185). Vitello is able to tell me exactly what the main character is feeling and seeing. Her descriptions pack a punch that stays true to each of the characters, defining their complexities: “Mom called her my manic-panic girl. Me? Brady-brooder.” (page 14). It was refreshing to have the plot thrown in my face in the first few pages so I knew exactly what I was getting into, but I couldn’t just sit tight for the ride because there were layers to the plot that the author expertly revealed in pits and pats. I absolutely fell in love with Brady’s voice. “The tickle of this feels like a secret I’m sharing with my sister, like back when we were little girls sneaking into each other’s rooms at night to munch on candy under the blankets.” (page 15). Most of the time the author utilizes abrupt and short sentences that feel halting at first but then begin to worm their way into the voice of the character. She is a teenager with a teenager’s voice. But she is not just any teen. She is insightful and charismatic. She is real and emotional. She connects to her unseen audience through her fears and realizations. I love how Brady describes other people around her. “Why am I even friends with this girl? The way she glows with satisfaction when the world matches up to her sense of order and the way things should be.” (page 187) These are the same flaws I saw in Martha and Brady was able to voice them with such eloquence. I could listen to Brady all day. Who wouldn’t like a book that mentions bacon maple bars?. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys movies with the environment of Clueless or the clever dialogue in the movie Brick.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! This book was very engaging and real. I was worried the grief of the family whose daughter did in fact die in a cheerleading accident would be too much, but it was not the case. The book features a strong main character who is trying to find her place in life after the sudden death of her sister. Nice to see a character like that in YA novels.
NoBadScience More than 1 year ago
I read this book in a weekend, and I rarely do that! This book was a real "page-turner" for me. I connected with the fascinating main character (Brady), and how she must learn to navigate the ever-changing landscape; I have thought about her a lot , even after finishing the book. I really want to know more about her. I'm sure everyone will find a different character(or plot twist) in this book that will stay with them for a long time. Expertly written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this young adult book lacking on many levels. It is more of an adult book. The sister dies but not in a cheer leading accident. This is very violent and filled with adult subject matter. There is cursing. I would not any young person younger than18 to read this book. It made me nervous and uncomfortable, not because of sexual situations but because of subject matter. For readers at LEAST 17 years old and up. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only had to get to page seven to read the f word. This is a horrible story how could someone read this with their daughter...