Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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.

(Synopsis from

1. This is a coming of age story with wonderful character growth. There is the twist that all the growth occurs after death.

2. The writing starts off very dry and straightforward. There are very concise, well formed sentences. Very school-like writing; it lacks much style. The writing grows with the character.

3. The character starts off very typical. Sam is popular and fits in very comfortable to her suburban life. She’s aware of it, she likes the predictable nature of her days, hell, she worked hard for them. The character, the world she lives in, and the writing all start off pretty plain. The premise of a last day being relived over and over is what keeps one reading. The author, through Samantha’s internal monologue, even makes reference to the very “Groundhog Day” plot when the repeating begins. But it’s good that one keeps reading, because the story becomes its own. Little Samantha Kingston, who went along with the way things just go, learns a lot of worthy lessons and they are definitely worth going through with her.

4. I recommend this to anyone trying to making it though the world. This book contains some great revelations, and, if you’ve learned the lessons before, some great reminders. It isn’t one of the best books in the world, like is being said in some YA circles right now, but it’s pretty great.

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