Half a life

Memoir by: Darin Strauss


During the last month of his senior year while driving at night, a girl named Celine Zilke swerved in front of his car causing her to lose her life. He constantly carried the burden of the thought of taking away Celine's life; driving him mad. Later he eventually found out that is was a possible suicide. Celine's friend later told Darrin that is was in fact a suicide: they found a note the day of her death of her announcing on paper that she will die today. However, Celine's parents never told Darrin; Mrs. Zilke told Darrin when they first encountered, "Whatever you do, you have to do twice as well, you are doing it for two people".

Character analysis

Darrin struggles his whole life with the thought of taking away Celine's life. He constantly fels bad for not feeling bad enough, "I don't pretend its alright that I felt even half okay for even half a minute" (Strauss 21). He feels as though people should not be easy or understanding of him.. "I wanted to shout.. come on someone died!" (Strauss 147).

Literary Elements

The theme of the book is to not beat yourself up and hold the burden on your shoulders for the rest of your life. In the book Darrin beat himself up and made himself miserable to the thought of killing Celine accident or not (strauss 56). However he later finds out that she committed suicide and it was all one big disastrous accident that he happened to be a victim too. Setting is very important throughout the book because it exploits the reader to a well known place such as high school. A student in his senior year living on Long Island; which is a very well known place. this represents how this can happen to any high school student no matter where you live.

Book Review

I highly recommend this book to every high school student because it represents how some things aren't always what they seem like. It exploits how an individual should learn how to forgive themselves so they can move on with their everyday lives and not blame themselves all the time. Because although you may thing its your fault; it could be for a whole different reason, or simply, just an accident. This book is a page turner and makes you re-think how you view things. Its excellent on insight and will be very helpful for those who cant forgive themselves or blame themselves too much.