Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall

Lauren Oliver

One word: WOW

I am not sure how to begin this review. I was at a point in my reading where I was not quite sure what I was in the mood to read. I did not want sci-fi, vampires, sports, psychology, comics, etc. Everything I was reading I was tired of reading.

I went to the library and this book was on the shelf for which I had placed it on hold and forgotten about(I have more things on hold than you could imagine). I started to read this book and was moved. I loved this book. At first I was not sure that I would be able to read this book with all its pages because I was scared it would not hold my interest after the first part glued my eyes to the page. Well, here is a quick description of the book so my rambling will make more sense.

(this comes from her website)
What if you only had 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.

I was not sure I would be able to read about the last day over and over. Boy was I wrong. I cannot believe how great of an author Lauren really is. She created a dynamic story. She really showcased how such little decisions or remarks or things we do that we don't bat an eye at can really affect our day or the lives of others. It was done in a realistic way. It was not some heart warming everyone loves everyone, but the reality of life. We make decisions - good and bad - and these decisions affect how life plays out. It affects people in ways we would never imagine. We have best friends, but are they really the person we think they are or the people we need them to be?

On page 276 of the book I was mindblown by the following passage in which I have read at least 20 times.

It's weird how much people change. For example, when I was a kid I loved all of these things - like horses and Fat Feast and Goose Point - and over time all of them just fell away, one after another, replaced by friends and IMing and cell phones and boys and clothes. It's kind of sad, if you think about it. Like there's no continuity in people at all. Like something ruptures when you hit twelve, or thirteen, or whatever the age is when you're no longer a kid but a "young adult", and after that you're a totally different person. Maybe even a less happy person. Maybe even a worse on.

What do you think of that? This will not leave my mind.

Or what about this one?

....It was one of those memories I didn't even kow I remembered, if you know what I mean. It's not like Vicky was traumatized or anything. That's just the kind of thing that kids do to each other. It's no big deal. There's awlays going to be a person laughing and somebody getting laughed at. It happens every day, in every school, in every town in America - probably in the world, for all I know. The whole point of growing up is learning to stay on the laughing side.

Post your thoughts to this one above. That is intense. Do you agree? Disagree?

I will be honest and tell you that rarely am I able to read a book where I hate the main character. I could not stand Sam. However, over time she grew on me because she was real and every person can relate to her on some level in some way from some point in time. Read this book.

Note to parents: This book does contain a lot of references to drinking, drugs and sex, but nothing graphic. I would recomend for 14 and up.

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