Monday, April 5, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Pages: 480
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 2, 2010

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.

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.

Sam Kingston is the epitome of the classic mean girl. And February 12 should just be another perfect day, in her perfect life. But when she is victimized in a car-crash, and when she wakes up, it's still February 12. Again, and again, and again seven times until she rights her wrongs. But she has a lot to make up for and it's not going to be easy. In those seven re-lives, she struggles to understand that there's more to life than popularity. And once she gets that last day right, she'll move on unto the unknown.

Before I Fall is an evasive and intriguing debut novel that has a very different and cryptic concept of after-death. But instead of being unrealistic or impossible to believe, Oliver creates a palpable environment as well as an assuring character whose growth is evident as she learns many lessons and ultimately understands what her actions can become.

With sharp insights and extensive tangibility, Oliver's novel is a raw and harsh look at the startlingly brutal hierarchy of high school and the vicious bullying and injudicious cruelty that is present in today's high school communities. Behind Sam's actions--may it be present or past--readers are subtly taught a valuable lesson that pertains both to Sam's situation, and in real life. The interlocking of both fantasy and reality here is balanced and although everything is exaggerated a little bit, it still provides that same real-life grit that many people are unaware of today.

Every time Sam wakes up, each day becomes more and more important and Oliver carefully slips a sense of urgency that grows each time Sam re-lives her last day. And at first, Sam makes only little changes and differences in her last day but as she starts to understand that her treatment and perception of people was wrong, she starts to not only become a better person, but become a better, more complex character.

Through Before I Fall, Oliver exposes the raw and horrible truths about high school. Before I Fall is a debut that delves deeper than usual into the psyche of a high school teenager and is a microscope to the underlying cruelties that each person has within them. A =)

The Bottom Line: Raw + Real = Before I Fall

---Field Report---
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 7/10
Theme: 10/10
Imagery: 8/10
Setting: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 4/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 9/10
Total Score: 90/100 (A)

my signature


Shy April 5, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

Another fantastic review that make me very itch to read this book. I hardly heard any bad reviews on this book and I think that seriously tells a lot. Cannot wait to get my hands on a copy =)

Monster of Books April 5, 2010 at 4:46 PM  

This book has been getting nothing but positive reviews and it scares me. Makes me hesitant to read it. But I really want to. Thanks for the great review!!

Precious April 5, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

Nice review Reggie! Beautiful beautiful way to describe this debut novel! :) And oh man. I really wanna read this. When I got to the always. Out. Of. Stock.

Maria April 5, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

Wonderful review! I have to get a copy of Before I Fall soon :D

Karen April 5, 2010 at 8:32 PM  

Great review - I've been dying to read this one!

Unknown April 5, 2010 at 8:48 PM  

Amazing review - and so true raw + real = Before I Fall is amazingly true!

Anonymous,  April 5, 2010 at 9:55 PM  

Wonderful review! I just loved this novel. :)

Dwayne April 6, 2010 at 12:00 AM  

Eloquently done, Reggie! I haven't read this one yet, but it by far sounds wonderful!

bookaholic April 6, 2010 at 12:57 AM  

Lovely review! I had read a book of this kind but would love to read this one!

Unknown April 6, 2010 at 1:04 AM  

Great review! Hope to read Before I Fall soon!

Eleni April 6, 2010 at 3:45 AM  

Nice review, I LOVED this book!

Robby April 6, 2010 at 5:44 AM  

One of the greatest books to come out this year, in my opinion. Loved this book. Loved your review. :]

Mari - Escape In A Book April 8, 2010 at 5:02 AM  

This book sounds like a heartbreaking, painful and at the same time wonderful read! I have the impression that this is the kind of book which everyone seems to love. I haven't read one negative review of it yet. That probably means that I need to read it :) Thank you for the lovely review, Reggie!

Anne April 8, 2010 at 8:39 AM  

Wow! So many great reviews on this! I'm so excited to read it!

Katie April 8, 2010 at 8:56 AM  

Sounds like a good book. I've seen some other sparkling reviews about it. I need to pick it up! :)

Jessica N. April 8, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

Amazing review! I have seen this on book blogs all over and it just makes me want to read it even more :). Thanks for the sneek peak!

The Sweet Bonjour April 8, 2010 at 5:24 PM  

Lovely review! I need a copy of this :)

Sara April 8, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

Amazing review! Before I Fall sounds like a really impressing debut novel. It's on top of my wishlist! ;)

Jessy April 8, 2010 at 10:47 PM  

I loved this book! I couldn't stop thinking about it days after I finished it.

BrigidsBlest April 9, 2010 at 1:58 AM  

Any story that has a mean girl getting her come-uppance or realizing what a b***h she is and trying to fix it sounds good to me. I'll have to see if my local library has this one. Thanks for letting me know about it. Good review!

Heather April 11, 2010 at 10:35 PM  

I just got my copy of this in the mail yesterday - I can't wait to read it! I've heard nothing but great things about it.

Martha Eskuchen April 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

This is a good review and I like the sound of this book! I like comeupance stories!

whitewolfreads April 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM  

I've been hearing a lot about this book and although most reviews are positive I'm still on the fence about reading it. I'm worried it might be too cliche and therefore predictable. Maybe I should just dive right in...

Darlyn April 22, 2010 at 10:40 AM  

I heard so many good review on this one i also love it!

titania86 April 23, 2010 at 3:42 AM  

I saw reviews for this book around, but it didn't look like it would interest me. Now, I;ve read your wonderful review and am now adding this book to my reading list. It seems as if it would be hard for the author to make a day repeated many times interesting and not super repetitive. I guess I'll find out. Great review!

dulcesimmer June 18, 2010 at 4:12 AM  

OMG!I want to read this book now.
After your review.

A Book Adventure June 18, 2010 at 9:08 AM  

Can't wait to get this book, thanks to your review.

Misha June 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

great review! I am desperate to read this book now!

Anonymous,  June 18, 2010 at 4:51 PM  

This is a great review, I ordered this the other day, this has just made me more excited for it :)

yokeMun June 18, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

great review..definitely would want to read this.
i'll have to search for this book then!!
thanks for the review!!

Deana June 22, 2010 at 11:19 PM  

I think I might be the only one who wasn't in love with this book. It was pretty good though:)

Jordan Brooks July 7, 2010 at 4:57 AM  

This book is definetly on the top of my MUST read list! I've seen it, but haven't really heard about it until not to long ago, now I am DYING to read it.

Unknown July 11, 2010 at 3:27 AM  

I have been wanted to read this book for awhile now--I'm so glad you liked it!

Anonymous,  July 12, 2010 at 6:17 AM  

Wonderful review! I really want to read this book, and this just made me want to read it even more!

Gilliene July 30, 2010 at 10:28 PM  

I've been hearing good things about this book - hoping to get it soon!

Good review, by the way!


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