Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary:

Samantha Kingston relives the same day for 7 full days; the day of her death.  Each day is unique and has different discoveries, and outcomes, but regardless, she wakes up again in the morning to the same alarm and the same greeting from her sister.

Review:

AWESOME BOOK!  Amazing writing! Spellbinding, thought provoking, happy, sad, laughable.  I am just amazed at this book.  At first I thought it was going to annoy me, because the narrator sounds very young (which, duh, she is suppose to be a teenager) and she doesn’t do male voices all that well.  They are consistent, but not great or anything.  Oh, and there is a TON of valley-girl-like talk.  That annoys me.  But the more you move into the book, the more the story line moves along, and the valley-talk just so perfect. I was also worried about the whole “Groundhog Day” feel…which did actually get a little bit old the last couple of times.  I was actually starting to think, “common already!” but it wasn’t that bad.

Sam progresses so much through the book, each day she discovers something new about herself, or about how her actions have affected someone else.  She learns first hand daily (er, the same day over and over) how much what we say and do can cause a ripple effect through to other people.  It is important.  Maybe even more so when you are considered “popular” and so many other people look up to you.  I was so glad when Lauren threw in the Starbuck’s scene at the end, because it did change an entire scene (nope, not giving it away) and in this one instance, the actions of Sam and her friends wasn’t the only blame.  Another so true aspect of the book, even when Sam starts to change things in her day to make things better, she often says that people are being “selfish” and how things effect her.  It really took a long time for her to see that same selfishness in herself – but I think this is a hard lesson for a lot of people to learn.

It has been a REALLY LONG time since I’ve felt extreme chemistry between a boy/girl relationship in a book.  Sam and Kent were amazing!  I loved watching their relationship unfold bit-by-bit…which would be very difficult since one party doesn’t realize it’s happening at all.  But it isn’t just Sam and Kent’s relationship that was awesome.  Sam and her friends were the perfect best friend group.  The fought, teased, were mean to each other, and goofed off like crazy teenagers.  They were more real than many of the friends in  books I’ve read lately were.

This was truly an amazing book.  The writing was great.  Lauren Oliver wrote an extremely serious book in a very light-hearted way.  I liked that I could laugh and smile and everything – but the story was actually very sad.  When it was time to be serious, the tone was very serious.  I think that most teenagers should read this book, or one like it – because bullying really is a problem, and I do think that there are many times that people are not thinking about how what they say or do are really effecting others.  Many people have no thought for anyone but themselves and how they feel at that moment.  If it makes them look good, funny, or even popular, the consequences really aren’t thought out. 

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