Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Library: Brooklyn Heights
Genre: Young Adult

Samantha Kingston is a typical teenager. Super popular "mean girl" who has a few besties that she does everything with. Until one night, they get into a car crash and Samantha dies. Don't worry, I didn't ruin the story for you. That's the whole point. This story is told from the moment after Sam dies. She gets to live her last day of life over and over until she gets it right.

Loved this book. My only complaint is that there were moments that dragged. Since it was written in first person, it was hard to imagine Sam growing up so fast and using such poetic language, right at the beginning. I actually found myself hating her and her friends right away before I realized that we're supposed to hate her...

We're supposed to go inside her mind on the journey that made her who she was and who she'd never become. I fell in love with Kent, the quirky guy with the checkered sneakers and bright green eyes. I wanted Sam to fall in love with him too, and right away. I was disgusted by Rob, Sam's trophy boyfriend who she crushed on for years before he would actually date her. I found the character, Lindsay, the leader of her pack, to be so complex yet so simple. I enjoyed seeing her become undone and put back together again. Ally and Elody rounded the story out as good sidekicks with some substance.
Best of all were the seemingly small characters that ended up playing huge roles in Samantha's growth. I also loved the story of Juliet "Psycho", "Mellow Yellow" Sykes. Without giving too much away, remember that Oliver is the type of author that goes into extreme detail for a reason.

The action packed parts made up for any dull moment you had to read through. Definitely recommend.

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