Before We Go by Amy Bright
Published by Red Deer Press May 2012
Source: ARC provided by the author
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.
I was excited to be contacted by Canadian author Amy Bright about reviewing her book Before We Go. The story was a great surprise as there was much more to the book than I initially expected. They say not to judge a book by its cover but I tend to do that initially and I wish the cover for Before We Go was stronger, and spoke more to the gem of a story inside it.
As the story opens we meet Emily who is at her grandmother’s bedside in the hospital. Her grandmother is gravely ill with pneumonia and Emily knows that it won’t be long until the the dread of loneliness she feels will be made a reality. She discovers an unexpected friend in Alex when she meets him in the elevator, as well as something completely unexpected.
I loved how Emily’s and Alex’s lives were so seamlessly intertwined. The author writes both female (Emily) and male (Alex) voices well and I related to Emily’s feelings of loneliness and Alex’s wish to help her as a way to deal with his. The writing was strong, with well developed characters and parts of the plot fit together perfectly. I enjoyed the subtle surprises and there were many moments that were completely unexpected. Recommended for those who enjoy good contemporary stories, that leave you wanting more. Great for fans of Sarah Dessen. I’m looking forward to more from this Canadian author.