February 5, 2011

Review: "Before I Fall"

"Before I Fall"
Lauren Oliver


Pub. Date: March 2nd, 2010
Pages: 470
Publisher: HarperCollins

Synopsis: 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.

I've had the ARC of "Before I Fall" sitting on my bookcase for over a year and I am so happy I finally took the time to read it. Even though the book is pretty hefty, it is amazing how fast the story progresses. I read hundreds of pages at a time and had no problem staying up super late reading this book multiple nights in a row.  It was worth being tired at work to get the book finished!

Samantha Kingston is a character that grows on you. I didn't hate her at the beginning of the book, but I didn't necessarily think she was a good person. She was your typical popular girl who rags on others to look cool to her friends, but that doesn’t mean that she thinks what she is doing is right. I actually found it fascinating to see how she justified her actions and those of her friends; I hate to say it, but a lot of her commentary about bullying made sense and were probably spot-on. It was interesting to see how she developed throughout the story, but even with the changes, I still didn't see her final action coming.

Even though it may sound very repetitive having to read the same day seven times, Lauren Oliver skipped over any parts of the day that were not unnecessary to the plot, making each day feel completely different.  I like how Sam spent her days with different people, she made some of the same mistakes multiple times, but it didn't take long for her to change her usual habits.  Some of the people Sam chose to spend her final days with were pretty unexpected.

Not only is this book highly entertaining, but it is also a great commentary on the effect of bullying.  Bullying seems to be in the news all the time and I’m sure a lot of teenagers maybe sick of hearing about it, but it is horrifying to see new ways in which students torment each other, even documenting these acts as proof of their horrible conquests to brag about later.  This may be a problem that will never be solved, but it is nice to see that not everyone is ignoring it.  I can see this book being a great book club selection. I think I might have to start one on my library’s Facebook page! 

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  1. I too thought that this book was amazing!
    It is so emotional, and real and.. and.. amazing!
    Sam, is also such a strong charecter and I agree, she really does grow on you.

    Perhpas if you have time, please could you check out my blog?

  2. Reading the last day in the life of Sam, I was transported to school with girls who were shallow, selfish and ignorant and thought they were cool and better than everyone because they were shallow.

  3. Liddy and Lavender-
    The book really does transport you into Sam's world. It is a very emotionally book and I can't wait to read Delirium by Oliver.

  4. I've had this on my "to read" list for ages, and you're getting me to finally pick up a copy

  5. That's great to hear Janice. It is definitely worth the read.