Before I Fall (ARC) by Lauren Oliver
Pub. Date: March 1st, 2010
Age Level: 14+
Synopsis via GoodReads
What if you had only one day to live?
What would you do?
Who would you kiss?
And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
Before I Fall is one of those rare, exceptional books that will leave you viewing the world in a whole new way once your eyes have left the pages. Lauren Oliver shows us in her stunning debut novel that not only can people change but that sometimes changing the simplest things can mean a world of difference.
In Sam, Oliver has created such a complex and dynamic character. At first I didn't really like her but that wasn't really the point. As Sam continued to relive the day of her death, I got to watch her grow into a better person; her outlook on life and the people around her, even her best friends, started to become more clear. I could see why Sam was friends with Lindsay, Elody, and Ally; they had some great, lovable qualities about them. However, Lindsay also had a bitchy quality and Elody and Ally just kind of went along with it, as did Sam for a time. Both Lindsay and Juliet were great supporting characters and there was a lot more to them both than what first meets the eye, especially Juliet. Last, but certainly not least, is Kent whom I fell madly in love with; he was just so sweet and adorable and although he was sometimes awkward, there was also an underlying strength and wisdom about him.
I have to say, Before I Fall wasn't exactly a quick read. However, except for the beginning which seemed a bit slow going for me, it was very well paced. Once I got past the slight repetitive feeling that comes natural with a main character reliving the same day, everything fell into step and I found myself anxious to find out how Sam's day would turn out this time and then the next time and so on. The story itself was just so emotionally wrought, unique, and often heart-wrenching. There were even some twists thrown in that I wasn't expecting.
Oliver has such a beautiful, almost poetic, writing style; it was gripping, relevant, thought-provoking, and descriptive all in one. Her writing is also very noteworthy as I felt she said many things worth saying in Before I Fall and she not only said them but said them well, in a way that will make me remember long after I've finished this book. Another thing, I loved how Sam would occasionally break away from telling her story to speak directly to me, the reader. This technique was well used and really helped me form a better connection with Sam.
Thanks to a very inconsiderate meany on GoodReads, I already knew how this book was going to end as far as Sam was concerned. However, I was still amazed and surprised by the ending in many ways. I know some people weren't big fans of the ending but I loved it and thought it was admirably done.
So I will say this, Before I Fall is not the kind of book to just pick up on a sheer whim; because of it's emotional depth and slightly more serious subject matter, it is one of those books I feel you really need to be in the mood for if you are too fully appreciate it's greatness. I say this because the first time I picked it up to read, I got part way through but then started another book. I know, for shame. *blushes* In the end, though, Before I Fall is a work of genius that will stick with you long after you've read it and even has the potential to change readers lives. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
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Monday, July 12, 2010
Before I Fall (ARC) by Lauren Oliver
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 7/12/2010 07:21:00 AM