Apr 20, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

How perfect would it be to relive the last school day before Valentine's Day? You get to wear a cute outfit, hangout with your friends, be showered with flowers from admirers, go to a great party, and then die in a car crash. Wait; that last bit's not quite right. Sadly though this is what 16 year-old Samantha Kingston relives. Seven times! Each time she hears the squealing tires, sees the car roll over, and then wakes up in her bed to the same morning over and over.

After a time or two, Sam starts to realize what's happening. She also discovers that by changing the smallest thing, she can change events that happen in that day. Can she change the outcome of that night? Is she strong enough to do what's right instead of what's easy?

I must admit that I wasn't as big a fan of this book as I was hoping to be. The premise sounds fascinating and weird, but it just didn't pan out so easy for me. Sam was such a revolting character to me. She was so shallow and unlikeable that I just couldn't relate to her. She spent a good deal of her time talking about the pending loss of her virginity (do people really plan it out like this?) and ignoring anything of real importance or value in her life. She was quite flippant in her care of life and I just kind of found her insufferable. Her friends were no better, but as the story progressed I did notice a change in many of them. They were all very individual people who stood out in their own rights and I enjoyed watching them alter their behavior and personalities accordingly.

The writing was quite eloquent and well thought, with attention paid to every possible detail. I guess when you're repeating the same day again and again you really need to make sure you get your details down. I found that while the day was continually repeating, that I wasn't getting tired of it. I was looking to see if I could spot the differences myself between the days. It was amazing to watch the chain of events set off by altering one little thing each day. I'm still not quite sure what I think and feel about the ending, so I'll let you decide. Don't let the hefty page count scare you off, give it a shot!


Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

Great review! I absolutely loved this book and I can see how a lot of people didn't warm up to Sam. Glad you liked it!

Vampires and Tofu said...

I really liked this book a lot BUT I kind of wish it had ended a little differently ;(