May 16, 2012

Review: Before I Fall

By: Lauren Oliver
Published: March 2010 by HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover, 470 pages
First Reviewed: March 2010
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

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.

Rating: 5/5

This is a book I read within days of its release, too excited to wait, and one of the few books I've devoured in a single day. It's even one of the fewer books that have made me really feel, even after finishing the book.

Every single character had a different role. You go from disliking certain characters to loving them, and vice versa. The main character, Sam, had such a wonderful voice and I never wanted to stray from her. While she was incredibly irritating in the beginning, I realized why Oliver had made that decision after finishing the book.

Sam's friends are likable, even though they would normally be the characters you'd love to hate in other books. Even the most minor characters had distinct voices. I found myself caring about all the characters and not just Sam.

The writing, however, what really made this book. Beautiful. Simply beautiful! Where has Lauren Oliver been all our lives? She has an amazing gift and the flow and diction was stellar. It's not everyday that you come across such beautiful writing. Normally, people slap too much description or detail or something, but with this, there was a perfect amount of everything. The way she incorporated Sam's memories where incredible and gave so much to the story. I was also amazed at how there was only 7 chapters and a prologue and epilogue, and I normally get so distracted with long chapters, but I didn't at all with this. Even the longest (82 pages, I think) seemed like a normal sized chapter because I was flying through it.

I'm speechless. Really. This story was just so amazing and beautiful. To see the growth of Sam was incredible. In the beginning, you think she was just a snob, preppy girl--honestly, if she had remained like that; I would have stopped reading--but then you watch her grow through these changes as she relives the day of her death for seven days. By the end, Sam just has you in tears. This book was a rollercoaster that I was so sad to get off of. The way it left off was upsetting, but just what readers need. You'd think that when a book repeats the same day seven times, you'd get tired of it, or that it'd be a lot of repeating, but it wasn't in the least. It was too amazing. I can't say enough good things about this book. By the time I finished, I had laughed, cried, been shocked, loved, hated, and everything in between.

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