Author: Lauren Oliver
Length: 496 Pages
Challenge(s): Off The Self
Buy the Book: Amazon
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?This novel is unique in the fact that the narrator, Samantha Kingston, is telling the story from the both the dead and the living -- the reader is more or less going through the story seeing how she develops through various revelations. Sam and her friends are at the top of the totem poll, and basically it seems that everyone either wants to be them or be friends with them... and then those who don't are deemed social outcasts by the clique for one reason or another. The story gets interesting when they decide to go to party, and on the way back the unthinkable happens: they swerve and the car crashes and Sam wakes up the next morning reliving the day before -- every single part of it. At first she thinks everything was just a dream, but once it all repeats itself again and again she realizes there's more to it than she had previously thought. She realizes there's something she must do, something to learn.
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.
Overall I thought this book was okay. I thought this novel depicted teenage girls extremely well... to the point that I sincerely struggled getting into it. Sam and her friends were the shallow, insecure, and slightly elitist popular girls on the top of the social pyramid, which is the exact reason I struggled with this book at first (these are not the type of girls I relate to). I rarely read anything from this type of character's perspective. Overall I decided it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just a huge change-up from what I'm used to (you can read this as differently from "my personal taste"). If anything I would have liked to see Sam be a bit stronger and believe in herself. The parts I liked the most about her was when she thought about how much she had loved riding horses, or spending time with her sister, ultimately the things that made her, her. That's the girl I would have rather be reading about, which by the end of the story is what I got.
Of all the characters I loved Kent the most. I loved him due to the fact he has the quirky, smart, and own drummer type personality. I like when people don't conform, it's a breath of fresh air. He was sort of the anchor of change in this book… and I enjoyed that fact. If anything… I would have loved to see more of him.
My last comment was the repetitive nature of the story. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the concept. I like the idea of someone reliving their last day and learning something from it. The downside is that the length… slowly made this repetitive factor age, to the point I wish it had been slightly condensed in the middle. I think it was stretched just a little too much, but not enough to make me put down the book. Each day was a new lesson or idea that helped Sam get to where she needed to be by the end of the story.
In the end I thought this novel as a whole was pretty okay (as stated previously, I know, I know). I didn't enjoy it as much as I had anticipated (based off of everything I heard and reviews I read) but I enjoyed it enough that I don't feel like I wasted my time. The opening was great, and the ending had the closure I needed to feel that a resolution, a point, was made -- which is a novel like this is important to me.
So, have you read Before I Fall? Agree? Disagree? Feel free to let me know in the comments, I respond to everyone. Have a great evening!