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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 480 Pages
Publisher: Harper Collins (March 2nd 2010)

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.

Every once in awhile a novel comes along that completely blindsides me and Before I Fall was definitely such a book. I feel almost hesitant to even try to review it. How can I possibly do Lauren Oliver’s vivid writing and finely crafted characterizations the justice it deserves? I don’t know, but I will tell you this –

Before I Fall blew my mind.

The plot was extremely addicting. I was fascinated with the way one seemingly unimportant decision can have such a wide spread ripple effect and affect so many lives. At the beginning of the book, Sam was not among the nicest group of girls, but you know what, that’s okay. Bad is so much more interesting than good! Part of the fun was watching her character's growth. I have to say though, as much as I loved Sam, Kent was my favorite character. His appearances were brief, but I adored every scene he was in and looked forward to when he'd pop up next. I liked the way Lauren Oliver contrasted his clean air/fresh laundry smell with that of Sam's boyfriend Rob, who always seemed to reek of sweat, beer and cigarettes. It added to the characterization and made Kent stand out even more for me.

If you are aspiring to one day be a writer yourself, I can tell you that the quality of this book is something you will aim for in your own endeavors. This is such an exciting time in YA now with all the amazing debut authors storming the scene. Before I Fall is a prime example of just how much a new author can capture our hearts.

But be prepared—you’ll need that box of Kleenex handy when the last page is turned.

Official Website & Blog of Lauren Oliver
Purchase Before I Fall HERE.

Lauren Oliver was previously an editorial assistant at a publishing company in New York. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the MFA program at New York University, she is now a full-time writer and lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first novel.


Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Great review! Yep, I was also absolutely blown away by this book and I'm actually giving away a copy at my blog if anyone's interested! :)

✖Mizz Yasmin✖ said...

This book is in my wishlist.
After reading your GREAT review, I really wanna read this!
Thanks for the review!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

O thanks for the hankie warning ;)

Book Crazy Jenn said...

Wonderful review, thanks for the hankie warning, I figured it would be one of those kinds of books...I cant wait to read this one.

suzie townsend said...

This is a great review! I can't wait to read BEFORE I FALL. It's at the top of my TBR list :)

The Book Owl said...

Great review! I have this in my TBR Pile - I should really get around to it!!

The Library Lurker said...

Glad you liked it! I'm eagerly awaiting my copy to get here...and I'm definitely saving it for a weekend. I can't imagine starting this book and then having to go to school in the middle of it!