Half A Life By Darin Strauss

Summer Reading

Character Analysis

The main character Darin Strauss, who is also the author, tells a story about one event in his life that he can't forget about and it all happened when he was a teenager. At the beginning of the book he is about 18 years old and he gets into an accident and kills a 16 year old who was riding her bike. He had two of his friends in the car with him that day of the accident. Her name was Celine Zilke and she went to Darin's school and was only in 11th grade and he was in 12th grade. After the police and EMS came, they finally got a helicopter to take Celine to the hospital. The cops managed to stop all traffic and as Darin was just sitting by his car, a few girls got out their car and went up to him to see if he was okay but he didn't say a word to them. After everyone found out that Celine had died, Darin payed his respects to her family by going to her funeral even though that was the hardesr thing he has ever to do in his life time. When Mr. and Mrs. Zilke saw Darin at the funeral they walked up to him and said that they know it wasn't his fault and that they weren't going to blame him for this whole thing and that they would support him in his life. 2 weeks after graduation, Darin went to the Zilkes so say goodbye before he went off to college. 5 months later, he found out the Zilkes was suing him for millions of dollars.


The setting of the book took place in the end of Darin's senior year of high school and it skipped through years of his life. Throughout the book it would skip a few years of his life that always lead to him thinking about Celine or thinking of the accident. Even when Darin was getting married, he said he couldn't stop thinking about Celine because he has so much guilt built inside of him. He went to therapy a few months after the accident and that seemed to help a lot because him and his wife once talked about it and she asked him how many times he thought about her and he said at least once a week which was better then thinking of her everyday all day. And that's what made him write a memoir of this event in his life.
Episode 15: Darin Strauss


Throughout his whole life, Darin just can't get over the accident. After going off to college he still couldn't get it out of his mind even though it happened 2 years ago. It was also hard for him to tell his girlfriend, who is now his wife, about the accident because he never talked about and never told anyone, not even his good friends. He than moved back to New York and his friends there didn't even know about it but it was something that he kept to himself because he felt uncomfortable talking about it. After finding out that the Zilkes sued him, but after years of this case, there was no case because he wasn't at fault. So he went through 7 years of dread financial ruined. As years went by, his high school reunion was coming up and was nervous to go so he went for him and for Celine. Darin did a lot of things for Celine in his life because he knew she couldn't be there to do things that other people did, so he did things and went places that involved old friends for Celine. But when he got to the reunion, everyone was just staring at each other and didn't really talk to anyone that night. He saw one of the girls that he use to like in high school and they talked for a little bit and them she brought to a group of girls and he told them about the accident.By the end of the book, he finds out that Celine killed herself because her parents found a letter in her room before she went on a bike ride that morning. So after all these years they realize it was a suicide. I would recommend this book because books like this can inspire someone and show them that if something bad happens that they should hold on to the guilt and that they should just forget about it and move on in life if it wasn't their fault. And also because you can do a lot in life and do it for that one person or for a person you want to do it for.