It's been 75 days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her. And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone now, and she doesn't want to talk about it. They wouldn't get it, anyway. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to know it's your fault.
Amy's shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia. But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn't as perfect as she thought it was - and the present deserves a chance too.
This was an Audio book I checked out of my library. It was narrated by Tracy Pfau. She had a great voice for the voice of Amy who tells the story. She changes her voice some to delineate the other characters and does a fine job with that. This is probably the best narrator I've listened to yet. She actually sounded like she was the right age to be telling this story. I could picture her in the story. And not one word was mispronounced. The audio version of this book was 5:08:57 so I'm rounding up to 5:09.
The story itself is told in letters to Amy's dead friend Julia. As always when people die, all the bad stuff is forgotten and only the good is remembered. Julia is risen to sainthood status in Amy's eyes. Laura her therapist has a very tough job on her hands trying to find a chink in the wall Amy has built around her very perfect friend Julia. Amy hates Laura her therapist for trying to make her see Amy as anything different than perfect and she hates it when Laura clicks her pen. It's almost comical the way she talks about it, if the subject matter weren't so serious.
Amy's parents have always been oblivious to her. They hadn't meant to have children so they let her do whatever she wants. They aren't aware that she drinks until the night of the accident. Oh sure there was that time before when she had to go to the hospital because she couldn't stop throwing up from the alcohol, but Julia made up a lie and they believed it. No, they were so wrapped up in each other, they seemed to have forgotten they had a daughter. Julia's mother, on the other hand, was always careful, where are you going, who will you be with, you better not be drinking, and of course, Julia was wild.
But everything leads back to that night, that night that Julia died and Amy lived and her life changed forever. She had to attend rehab camp for the summer. She had to go to group therapy and individual counseling. She had to go back to school and face all the people that knew what had happened. She had to live with what she had done. And she had to realize what she had done.
This book had some twists and turns to it that I did not expect. I was so surprised by some of the things revealed that the ending was just kind of a soft slow ride down hill. The climax, it was a shocker to me. I was not expecting it at all. I hadn't heard or read anything about this novel so I was really surprised at how much I liked it. There was some romance, but not really happy romance. Don't read this if you're depressed because while there is some hope, it's not a light subject and as I've said before, I think because I'm not reading it, I'm listening to it, I can keep myself removed from it enough that I don't feel it as intensely as I would otherwise. This is why I have Before I Fall on hold to listen to and not read. Though I may read it for comparison's sake.
I really enjoyed this book. I feel kind of stupid saying that considering the subject matter, but Amy grows by leaps and bounds in this book as do her parents. It was incredibly strong on character growth and story line.