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Before My Eyes

3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  295 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
In Caroline Bock's Before My Eyes, Claire has spent the last few months taking care of her six-year-old sister, Izzy, as their mother lies in a hospital bed. Claire believes she has everything under control until she meets a guy online who appears to be a kindred spirit. Claire is initially flattered by the attention but when she meets Max, the shy state senator's son, her ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Desiree Streib
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

This book is not what I thought it would be. The characters were abnormal yet normal at the same time. For once, an author took everyday people and put them into a novel. The first is overweight, one is autistic (although it is never specifically said), another is dealing with a mental illness, one is essentially raising her sister after her mother collapsed at home, and the last is trying to figure out who he is vs. who his parents expect him to be. These
Michelle Arrow
"Then I run toward the sea, crash through the waves. Most girls I know don't like the ocean. They love the beach, not the water. The ocean whips your hair, leaves sand in the roots, ruins your makeup, and is oblivious to how good-looking you are or are not. Those girls are anchored to their towels. Those girls are moored near the lifeguard, half a beach away. I don't understand those girls and never have. But that's okay. I've always been invisible to them. The sea is mine."

Who'd think that
Carolyn Wilhelm
Mar 20, 2014 Carolyn Wilhelm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think all the lawmakers should be required to read this book before voting on many of today's issues. A great read for any English or Social Studies class---debate team--or mock trial group--promotes discussion of domestic issues we need to deal with in a way middle school to adult ages can comprehend. Wow! I had to finish this in one sitting. Excellent story. All that can happen in six days!
Liza Wiemer
Today, (December 18, 2015) I heard about a bullying incident with someone who has special needs! The situation broke my heart and reminded me how we need more than ever to have our young adults read books that open their eyes. BEFORE MY EYES is that that novel! If you didn't know about this book, add it to your TBR list! It's IMPORTANT!

Three characters narrate this powerful story. One has schizophrenia, another is coping with a mother who suffered a series of strokes, and another uses prescripti
Jun 23, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each character narrates their own story. Claire's mother has had a stroke. This has left her disabled and in a rehab facility. Because of this, Claire has had to grow up fast and take on more responsibility at home. Not only is she cooking and cleaning, but she is also completely in charge of raising her six year old sister. As money is starting to run out, all Claire wants to do is have some one else care about her for a change. Max is the son of a senator who was suckered into working
Apr 06, 2014 Andersreads rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Absolutely loved it. Although the main characters are older teens (and a 21 year old) and the book is marketed as a YA book, it did not read like a typical YA novel. One thing I really enjoyed was the lack of predictability in the novel; although the novel begins with the viewpoint of Barkley,who brings a gun to a state senator's campaign event (so that you know the end will either involve a shooting or someone talking the shooter, Barkley, from using his weapon), the novel charts the lives of t ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Sophia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked the different perspectives. I didn't feel as though it was told from 3 perspectives because Caroline Bock felt like it. The different POVs really added something to the story. I would actually get bored during Barkleys, but that was the most interesting, but I at times I was wandering off. I got bored at the beginning and set the book aside for a little bit. The end got unexpectdedly intense, but I liked the way it played out. The ending I like and dislike. It doesn't give more informati ...more
Feb 06, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book almost kept me up all night. I managed to wrest some control away from the screen of my Kindle at about 1 a.m. though, and I was somehow able to keep from finishing it all the way until the next afternoon. To say that I enjoyed this book would not be entirely true – it’s sad and scary and not altogether enjoyable, exactly – but I still couldn’t stop reading. The characters felt real, even more so because of Bock’s decision to filter the action through three narrators. The crooked timel ...more
Milkweed Augustine
'BEFORE ME EYES" sounds like a very good read. I can already see the author is highly influential as well as claims a specific dynamic which has obviously been anchored in her work. The story itself appears to be highly interesting as it is more about topics of today. I am glad I don't see much about the topic of romance, which sends a ripple of comfort. It looks like a dramatic tale where secrecy is a copious player in the foreground of this very detailed story. I would recommend it easily, esp ...more
May 26, 2014 Marj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Told through the eyes of three young people, Before My Eyes gives a spellbinding account of an event which will change their lives. Covering the timeline of a single weekend, the narrative loops back from the climax, giving insight into the little details of events and personalities leading to that point. We see characters and action in turn from the points of view of Claire (an artistic girl whose family is struggling to cope with her mother's near-fatal stroke), Max (a shy teen trying to find ...more
This book will be staying with me for awhile...the premise about teens engulfed in their own problems during summer vacation really results in can't put it down reading when a fellow worker explodes with a gun during a campaign event. The way the author, Caroline Bock, uses three voices to narrate this life altering event over a few day period was compelling. Barkley, the shooter, and Claire, hero and victim, and Max, hero and victim, are forever changed by Barkley's actions. They blame themselv ...more
Feb 18, 2015 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 of 5 stars

A political rally. A gun. A twenty-one year old paranoid schizophrenic. A plan that only makes sense in his jumbled mind. Shots.

BEFORE MY EYES starts off with a literal bang. We know that Snack Shack worker Barkley brings a gun to the reelection rally of his coworker, sixteen-year-old Max's state senator father. Arriving at the rally just in time for the rally, Claire, Max's crush and the object of Barkley's obsession.

Told in the POVs of Barkley, Max and Claire, Carolyn Bock has c
Ellis Lee
Oct 08, 2014 Ellis Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A departure from the usual YA lit, this is a startling and honest read captured by three perspectives about the last few days of summer leading up to an unexpected event that changes everything. It starts off a little removed but as the characters develop, you become curious to learn more about the actions leading up to the event and its aftermath.

Jan 19, 2014 Gregory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gun control or not to gun control?

When Barkley stops bathing, starts hearing voices, and buys a gun you can be pretty sure that the summer by the shore is going to be explosive.

When Matt, who's senator father wants him to be a great kid, as long he's able to campaign and not embarrass his politically power drunk mom, wants to buy prescription drugs from Barkley to get him through a soccer injury, you can guess this summer is shot.

When Claire's mom has a stroke and her father becomes physically a
Sep 10, 2014 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book from Goodreads and I really enjoyed it! The book's point of view alternates between three very distinct, unique characters. Each of the characters help the story to unfold leading up to the climax. This book was very entertaining and suspenseful!
Jan 17, 2014 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book through Thank you to, St. Martin's Press, and Caroline Bock.

This book was told in the alternating perspectives of Claire, Max, and Barkley. Each of the characters is struggling with their own personal issues while trying to fit in and be a "normal" teenager. In their struggles, the world slowly teeters out of control.

Max is the son of a senator who is forced to work an ordinary job at the Snack Shack during the summer. This, like everything for
Sep 01, 2014 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i didnt want to put it down. the characters intrigued me and it was a shocking reality that things like this happen everyday.
Jan 13, 2016 Shawna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit of a contradiction for me. Familiar in some ways, very different in others. It's nothing new to write about violence, mass shootings in particular. And we've become accustomed to reading about young people committing these atrocities. But this story veers off the traditional path a bit. The story opens with a tragedy occurring, although the specifics are not given at the time. The author then takes us back, gives us a glimpse into events leading up to the climax. We're allowe ...more
May 22, 2016 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could have been so much more, but it just didn't come together. The premise attracted me right away--a young man with paranoid schizophrenia and a shooting at the beach--but for such an emotional, intense idea, the story lacked both emotions and intensity. It moved incredibly slowly at times, and there were several instances of repetition that felt either accidental and out of place or awkwardly intentional. I found myself engaged only a couple times--mosly when our multiple narrators actua ...more
3.3 stars

The book was stressful. This is not a spoiler----this happens at the very beginning of the book: a 21-year-old schizophrenic young man attends a rally/gathering for a local politician and begins shooting people.

The book goes back to the week before the shooting and describes what happens that leads up to the shooting. It tells the story from 3 perspectives---the 17-year-old son of the politician that was holding the rally-----a 17-year-old girl who gets caught up in the events and who i
Kathryn Haggstrom
I was fortunate enough to receive Before my eyes by Caroline Bock from a giveaway, complete with a personalized inscription from the author herself. The cover is a beautiful bright blue, making it pop on the shelf. That’s what drew me towards the giveaway in the first place.

The story is told from 3 different points of view: Barkley, Max, and Claire. It takes place over one summer. Max is the state senator’s son and works at the beach flipping burgers. Barkley works with Max. And bo
Trigger warnings for violence, addiction, mental illness, body issues, and questionable poetry.

This book grabs you right from the opening sequence. I found the characters a little hard to sympathize with, but their stories are compelling. The dramatic irony produced by how their varied perspectives and how their lives overlap one another made me want to turn the pages faster. It’s difficult as a reader to see an ending coming that everyone is missing the signs for, but it does make for a suspen
Zoey Wyn
Apr 08, 2014 Zoey Wyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
"Before My Eyes" opens with a relatively normal scene: a white tent, in a park, during Labor Day weekend. It becomes clear early on that Barkley threatens to change all of that.

Through the eyes or Max, Barkley, and Claire we get to witness how events unravel. Max is the privileged son of a politician, who works at the Snack Shack, and is addicted to pills. Barkley also works at the Snack Shack, but spends more time counting water bottles then helping beach goers. Claire escapes her overwhelming
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
I enjoyed LIE, so when I heard that Caroline Bock had a new book out, I wanted to read it. Told from 3, very distinct perspectives, Bock tells a story that takes place over Labor Day weekend, a moment in time that marks the end of summer and the beginning of school, senior year for Max and Claire, and everything else that this period of life means. But Barkley's actions may put any hope they had for the future in the trash.

I enjoyed the story, particularly the way in which Bock structures the n
Erika Schoeps
Disclaimer: I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

3.5 stars
I write this review after finishing this book 3-4 days ago, and it definitely gave me some much needed perspective. As much as I really enjoyed this book, it can definitely be a little generic with its young adult tropes (present in the minor characters and narrative structure of putting the end at the beginning). Additionally, some of the character's behavior really bothered me, although this may have been the author's way
Mar 09, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received a copy from NetGalley for a review.

This book is told in alternating perspectives between Barkley, Max, and Claire. I knew the lives of these three people were going to mesh but I honestly was not sure how since each of them had such different circumstances.

You know right from the start that there is an issue with a gun. You can eventually guess what is going to happen but you don't know how, or why, or who or the magnitude of it. I actually kept thinking that things were going to be dif
Mar 06, 2014 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Contemporary Fiction can take on many forms, it can be lighthearted and fun, but it can also be very dark and deal with situations that many would not like to read about. And Before My Eyes is the later version. This book is dark, but also has moments of lighthearted-ness, told in three perspectives, it tells the story of three teens who are troubled in very different ways, yet somehow have commonalities.

Claire is a young woman dealing with the aftermath and guilt of witnessing her mothers strok
Kelly Hager
Mar 03, 2014 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. In a story like this, multiple narrators could be tricky, especially given the fact that one of them is mentally ill, but Bock pulled it off quite well.

I also appreciate the fact that Barkley wasn't a caricature. He obviously has mental issues (an undiagnosed case of paranoid schizophrenia) but he's not portrayed as over-the-top. He's just a little off, the kind of thing that is so easy to misconstrue as quirkiness or a slight oddity.

I especially loved Max and Clair
Feb 24, 2014 Brittany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
It's Labor Day weekend. Max is the privileged boy-next-door forced to put on a smile and help his dad win the big election. Barkley is fighting the voices in his head and checking and double checking the gun he has purchased remains in his desk drawer. Claire fights to forget her dad is absent and her mom is sick and she is left to deal with the house and the bills and her little sister and all she really wants is to enjoy a day at the beach like all the other kids her age. At first glance, it w ...more
John Clark
Feb 16, 2014 John Clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Claire desperately wants to be a normal seventeen year old girl. Max desperately wants to be a normal seventeen year old boy. Barkley desperately wants to be understood and respected. Each has serious impediments standing between them and their desires.
Claire's mother had a stroke and is in a rehab hospital, but the insurance money has run out. She's been stuck taking care of her six year old sister Izzy all summer, while her father practically lives at the hospital. While she loves Izzy, she
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Caroline Bock is the author of two critically acclaimed young adult novels: LIE and BEFORE MY EYES from St. Martin’s Press. Her short stories and poetry have been published or are forthcoming with Akashic Press, Fiction Southeast, Gargoyle,100 Word Story, F(r)iction, Ploughshares, Vestal Review, and Zero Dark-Thirty. Her poetry has been nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and she is the 2016 winne ...more
More about Caroline Bock...

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“Today I am a lens, a pen, a gun.” 4 likes
“How do you tell someone like Pete that these kinds of friendships don't last, that they weren't made to last more than the summer even in the best of circumstances, and these certainly haven't been the best. That some friends aren't meant to be, except in stories, or books. You miss a penalty shot and no one wants to talk to you, and maybe you don't want to talk to them either. You want your own oblivion, and they don't understand. You don't answer their texts or even answer the messages of the one or two who venture to call. None of this has much to do with Peter, but you know you won't be friends with him past tomorrow.” 1 likes
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