This book is about three peoples’ summers in Long Island. It all started with the artistic, poetic main character named Claire. She was taking care of her younger sister, Izzy, because their mother was recovering from a stroke at a hospital. At first, everything is normal, but then she meets Brent and Max. These characters have complicated lives, and the book is narrated by all three of them. Max, the senator’s son, had been using pain-killers and is being helped by Barkley. Barkley suffers with schizophrenia. Over the summer, this book shows how one small move can change everything, like a see-saw swinging on a fulcrum.
Personally, I thought this book was a little slow in the beginning until I realized the background and details of all of the characters. I thought the plot line was very interesting, as it did not follow the typical plot structure of a typical teen book such as this. I thought that as the book progressed, it was a real page turner. It kept me on the edge as I was nervous and apprehensive to find out what would happen next.
One memorable thing in this book, “Before My Eyes,” was how the Senator’s son, Max, was using pain killers. Usually, we, as a society, think that being the child (son/daughter) of a politician is fun, as you get fame. This book shines light on the fact that this is not always true. Max’s parents were too preoccupied with preparing for reelection rather than focusing on their son. This was the reason Max was taking pain killers, and if it had not been for this, the story would’ve been entirely different.
Review by Yashodhara, grade 7, Gayton Library