Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

* Pub. Date: March 2010
* Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
* Format: Hardcover, 470pp
* Age Range: Young Adult

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.

Fortunately, 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.

Wow. I could honestly do this review in that one word. This book is just....Wow.

It's hard for me to do this review without giving away any spoilers and while that's usually not a huge issue for me, I really don't want to give any for this story if I can help it.

As I read Before I Fall, I noticed a bit of a pattern. Each day Samantha relives is kinda like the seven stages of grief. She feels and acts in different ways as each day comes again and you really get to see her evolving and learning and experiencing everything in a new way. I loved that she got to go through each emotion from denial to anger to depression to hope. She acts out in different ways, tries different things and it's a really cathartic experience for her and I think for the reader.

This book is so beautiful. The writing is clean and simple and at times elegant. The characters and experiences were all so relatable and so vivid and I really got sucked into the story. I forgot to sleep or eat while I read this book and I felt like I'd stepped into another world. When the book ended I came out of the book feeling disoriented and almost shocked that the real world was still there and life as I knew it was the same but I felt different.

At times I wanted to yell at Sam and her friends and other characters. At times I wanted to hug them and laugh with them and I even cried at one point (and I don't cry while reading a book easily). The love coming off the pages was so palpable that I felt like I knew these people, that I was these people and I felt what they felt, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I think this book shows so well how we all are capable of beauty and ugliness, love and hate and how we all are afraid of something and if we let go of the fear we can be more than we thought we could.

I highly recommend this book for people of any age. As Samantha learns in the story, It's never too late.

Before I Fall gets the first A+ that I've ever given a book before. The moral of the story isn't necessarily new, but it's handled so well and written so beautifully that it will haunt you long after you finish, and that's a good thing.

ETA:You can buy from Amazon here Before I Fall


Smokinhotbooks said...

I got chills reading the blurb. Is this one going to make me cry?

The Queen B said...

It made me cry, so....maybe :P
Srsly, I read the blurb and thought, I have to read this. I knew it would be one I couldn't put down, and it was. It's very good.

Paige Prince said...

This book looks really awesome. I know I'm going to cry like a baby when I read it, but I'm ok with that. :)

The Queen B said...

It was a very cathartic cry. It's a very good book. I think you'll love it.

Brenda Hyde said...

VERY cool since I won it, and it's on my TBR shelf:) I don't like crying, but I'll get over. LOL

The Queen B said...

@Moonsanity That's so great that you won it! Lucky dog ;)
You'll love it, I think. I don't really like to cry either, but it was worth it *g*

Mandi said...

Wow..I've never heard of this book...sounds really amazing. I'm not one to cry when I read, but this one might get me :)

The Queen B said...

Mandi- It's so good. As soon as I read the blurb I knew I had to read it. If you do read it, let me know what you think :)

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