The entertainment world started a wave of productions that talk about suicides, bullying and depression. It is wonderful to see that the media is embracing this cause and dealing with important issues, especially for teenagers. The problem is that, like all fads, some of these works stand out and others, many times even better than this one, are in the background.
This is the case of Before I Go, a great novel by Lauren Oliver, originally published in 2012, which was unlucky enough to break out again, due to the film's debut, right after the hype from the series 13 Reasons Why. The two books are not alike, while one narrates the reasons why a teenager committed suicide, the other shows an accident and a new chance. However, by the trailer of the film, people are comparing these two works, without knowing that in reality they are completely different.
Before I Go features Samantha Kingston, a popular teenager who has everything - popular friends, high school fame, beautiful boyfriend and all the futile things that matter at this time in life. But this Friday things will change, after a normal day and a routine party, she has an accident with her friends and apparently dies. For reasons she will understand later, she gains some chances to relive that day and get everything she needs.
"I'm about to go to Emma Howser - she is super tacky, and normally, I wouldn't even speak to her, but I'm almost desperate."
The premise is not exactly striking, and at first it really isn't. Narrated a day in the life of a teenager who only cares about her status, the work looks like a youth story. But little by little the book is winning you over and the second time Sam returns to the day of his accident, he already manages to arrest the reader and involve him in the suspense that surrounds that day.
The point is that it is not known exactly who died, in the car were the 4 girls in the group, and, while walking towards this revelation, the plot shows small details and how the girls' attitudes affect other people's lives, working in a chaos theory. And in fact, every time Sam restarts the day, she changes something and everything ends up in a completely different way, until she finds out the reason for being stuck in that looping and delivers a beautiful outcome.
Lauren Oliver is right to write from the point of view of a popular girl, Sam and her friends completely escape the stereotype of the suffering protagonists bullying, and this is extremely important to get the message across. The author analyzes all the characters intimately, showing how each one reacts in a way to everything that suffers and exploring the reasons that lead a person to attack others.
“Another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you're dead, it's the only thing that keeps you alive. ”
Before I Go is a beautiful work on learning. Showing several personal problems, the story leaves an exciting teaching of empathy, always worrying about justifying everything that is exposed and delivering a more than satisfactory outcome, without leaving any loose ends. A real life lesson.