Sunday, March 14, 2010

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver

Book Summary:

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. (From B&

My thoughts:
I first heard the buzz about this novel late last year. When Barnes & Noble offered it as their teen First Look selection, I immediately signed up to receive it. Before I Fall is a story of redemption; trying to correct mistakes, make better choices and realize no matter what you do, some things are just meant to be.

Sam Kingston and best friends Lindsey, Queen Bee, Elody and Ally, rule the school. Everyone tries to be like them and fears them at the same time. Early in the story, Sam and her friends are very easy to dislike. They're rude, self-centered and cannot tolerate differences, which masks their own fears and insecurities.

Sam's fateful day is February 12th. It's Cupid Day at her school and it's also the day she decides to lose her virginity to her boyfriend Rob. As the day goes on, the reader gets a glimpse into Sam's life and how horrible she really is. When the accident happens, it's easy to think "what goes around, comes around", but don't make that mistake and judge Sam.

Rereading about a day seven times sounds boring and repetitive, but the author does a fantastic job with making each "repeat" seem fresh and new. As Sam begins to realize her life is interconnected to those outside her immediate circle, she makes better choices and finds herself on the path for self-growth.

Ms. Oliver wrote a compelling story for her debut novel. I'm excited to see what is next for this author.

Favorite quote:
"It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It's never occurred to me before; I've never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different." (p. 285)

Book details:
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-172680-4
Pages: 480
Year Published: 2010
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Barnes & Noble First Look

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