Thursday, September 6, 2012

REVIEW: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA Paranormal Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: Oct 25/2011
Acquired: Library Borrow
Goodreads: ADD


What if you only had 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: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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.

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This book was one of the most heavily influenced books I've ever read, and fans of both Groundhog Day and Mean Girls are in for a literary match made in heaven. I'm glad I recently came across an interview with Lauren in which she stated (somewhat) that this book was intended to explore elements of both movies/ideas (also, reference is actually made to the movie Groundhog Day in the book). It just slightly bothered me to read how similar the demeanor of the four girls in the book were to the 4 female leads in Mean Girls (did anyone else notice this?). Though, I won't expand on that point, because I really did enjoy that movie.

I loathed the protagonist in Before I Fall. Samantha Kingston was an arrogant, snotty, and delusional little wreck, and I wondered at times if I was even going to be able to finish the book. As much as I hate storylines ripped from existing ones, I have to admit that I needed, almost yearned, to find out how her character was going to evolve, how Sam would conquer each "new" day. It seemed like it took her so ridiculously long to come to any sensible conclusions, that I found myself, literally, yelling out loud at the book (or, uh..my phone. I read it as an ebook).

Towards the end, I still don't think I was able to completely feel Sam's sincerity, if I can call it that, but my GOD it has been forever since a book has made me look within myself the way this one caused me to do. Lauren wrote some extremely powerful lines within these pages, words that really hit home for me personally, and by the end of it all, I was pretty much in pieces:

"I shiver, thinking about how easy it is to be totally wrong about people-to see one tiny part of them and confuse it for the whole, to see the cause and think it's the effect or vice versa"
 

"Here's one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It's like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there's no one around to hear it. You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That's how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to bust out of orbit, to spin out to a place where no one can touch you. To lose yourself-to get lost."
 
This book had an overall magical feel for me. Intended or not, Lauren Oliver's descriptions, the way she painted the world around her characters, had me in a daze. I pretty much lived for scenes between Sam and Kent, I don't think I've ever rooted for a possible pairing more than I rooted for them. I want to give this book 4 stars, but I'm torn between hating that it reminded me of Mean Girls so much, and loving how it made me feel. *Sigh*..so 3.5 it shall stay..


7 comments:

  1. Cool review. I agree with you about Samantha she was hard to like. The story was well written and sad.

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  2. I really like her other series maybe I'll give this one a try. Great review!

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    1. You definitely should! It's a great standalone book. I gave it 3.5 stars, but honestly, it's one book that I STILL haven't been able to stop thinking about.

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  3. Inneresting... I liked Delirium (not loved, but liked) and have heard such fantastic things about this, but just haven't really picked it up because I haven't felt like it. I'm still a little skeptical, though. I don't usually mind when characters are snotty or arrogant, buy.. delusional bothers me, as does unintelligent (seriously--there is nothing more annoying than a dumb hero(ine), and that's kinda the feeling I'm getting from you?).

    More mixed messages--I love Mena Girls, hate Groundhogs Day. I dunno, though. That trailer *does* make me wanna read it.

    Brynna

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  4. i did not like the ending of this book. it was so disappointing huhuh =((( i was not satisfied although i knew that authors do not have the obligation to satisfy or make their readers happy :((

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  5. I became a fan of Lauren Oliver because Before I Fall. I loved, looooved it. At first I thought it would be just a book about b*tches, but apparently it's more than that. I cried several times while reading this book!

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  6. Thanks for the review, I'll have to give this one a try. I've hear a lot of good things about Lauren Oliver's books.

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