Thursday, March 20, 2014

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

If you have read my previous reviews, or at least looked at my list of reviewed books, you know I like Lauren Oliver. Her Delirium series was what got me really back in to reading and was the first series I have binge read in a long time. I enjoy her writing style. I find her characters really well developed and easy to relate to, even when they are set in a future society I have no experience with. I also like that the heroine is not the gorgeous blonde every guy drools over, it is the average girl (so far brunette), the one that most of us were in our teens. And, I like that she doesn't feel the need to cram a bunch of salacious sex in to her books--as I reader I often find such things distracting and even annoying, I am no campaigner for purity or anything, I just hate seeing it used in hopes of making the book more likable, her books don't need it!

This book has been on my NOOK for awhile. I just kept getting caught up in other things. I am so glad I finally made time for it.

The quickest and best way I think I can describe this story is to call it a cross between 2 movies--Groundhog Day and Heathers. Tempted to say Mean Girls instead of Heathers, because nobody is offing their friends...but Mean Girls just wasn't as cool as Heathers!

Sam is a High School Senior. She is part of the popular crowd, has a popular boyfriend, and the life we all thought we wanted when we were that age. You don't have to read too far in to the book to reach the part where Sam dies, so it is a good thing that her death is just the beginning of the story. Dying is what kicks her in to a week-long reliving of her last day alive. The choices she made and their consequences. The people she affected whether she realized it at the time or not. Who and what she thought was important--and then what was actually important. Can she change her fate? Change the fates of those around her? Is that really what is meant to happen? Or is she just reliving the day until she finally can be at peace with dying?

I spent so much of my time while reading this book thinking about my teenage days. Remembering the things I thought were so important, and the moments I thought were earth-shattering. Over and over I wanted to talk to Sam, to tell her how wrong she was about certain things! To a certain extent, I was that popular girl, but I was also partially so many other characters in this book. When you are a teenager, you think all of those things have to be separate. You can't be popular and unique. You can't be weird and also well liked. And so on. Sam learns in this one week what it took me decades to figure out--that all of us have all of these components in there somewhere, that we don't have to pigeonhole ourselves, and so many other things. I will say that it didn't end the way I expected--I won't elaborate on that--but, despite thinking the whole time that I would be mad if it ended this way, it totally fit when it did.

Read it! YOU MUST!

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