Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

 Source: Personal Library; Gifted by Zoë
Challenge: Completely Contemp Challenge
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 470 (Paperback)

Blurb from Goodreads:

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.



Well, this was my first time ever reading one of Lauren Oliver's books...and I'll definitely be reading more in the future! I was pretty much hooked on Before I Fall from the moment that I started it, which was quite impressive considering the main character and her friends were about as likeable as an angry badger...okay, they weren't that bad, but they were exactly like those girls in high school that think they can walk all over everyone and that it's okay for them to do that. Coming from a small town, this wasn't as bad for me as it probably was for a lot of other people, but it was still there, and I could definitely recognize those "popular" tendencies that were present in Samantha and her friends. I did like that Lauren Oliver didn't just make them stereotypes. They all had reasons for being the way they were, and even though they weren't always likeable, it was still easy to sympathize with them.

As a narrator, I really enjoyed Sam. While she was incredibly shallow at times, she was pretty hilarious, so even when I wasn't a fan of her actions, I still really enjoyed her sense of humour that was infused throughout her narrative. I also loved that she was a dynamic character. She relives the exact same day seven times, and each day she handles it in a completely different way. I really enjoyed seeing her realize that some of her choices were wrong, and that she actively tried to change things...and I totally loved that she that one rebellious day where she pretty much just said the hell with everything because honestly, I think we all would do that at least once if we got the chance, especially with no consequence. :P Sam definitely grew on me, and by the end of the book, she'd won me over.

Sam may be shallow, but she is just the tip of the iceberg. Her best friend, Lindsey, is really that "mean" girl, similar to Regina George, but somehow a worse driver. :P I sympathized with most of the characters in this book, but I just didn't really click with Lindsey. She was incredibly self-absorbed, and she was just so cruel that it was really hard to like her. She did have some moments where you could see why Sam liked being her friend, but really, I wouldn't want to be her friend. There are some people that you're friends with and you just realize that friendship should not take that much work...and Lindsey is one of those friends. I also wasn't a fan of Sam's boyfriend, he was a prick, and their relationship was completely awful. :P But, to be fair, Lauren Oliver did an amazing job writing both characters, they definitely felt like real people, even if I didn't like them. :P
 
Now some characters that I did like....Kent, oh Kent! Sam was a total bag to him, but he was so sweet! I really liked him, and I liked how Sam's perception of him changed over the seven days. :) I'm not going to go into it too much though because I don't want to ruin it for everyone, but the whole Kent aspect was one of my favourite parts, the other was seeing Sam change, and I also enjoyed seeing her relationships with the other characters change, like the one with her parents, her sister, and even with characters that on the first day she and her friends were cruel to. It kind of makes you wonder just how much tiny little decisions that you make everyday influence what ultimately happens in your life....kinda weird, and freaky when you think about it really. :P

Overall, I thought that Before I Fall was a fabulous story! It was beautifully written, and the characterization was amazing. I absolutely loved spending the same day with Samantha Kingston seven times....and I loved seeing her change. Before I Fall is truly amazing, and I simply cannot recommend it enough! :D

Have you read Before I Fall?
What did you think?
And if you haven't read it, do you want to?

4 comments:

  1. We have that in common. This was my first Lauren Oliver book as well. I read it a few months ago. I'm excited and nervous about it being made into a movie.

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  2. It's funny how often I visited your blog and I didn't realize I hadn't left a comment yet.

    Well here one is!

    Yay for the read with Zoe tag, you even got my accent, I feel so special.

    Sam definitely won me over by the end too. It's impressive how much believable growth she had a character even over only a week. And Kent was really sweet I agree.

    SO glad you loved this book and it was a great beta-bribe. Also that we started this buddy reading, I already have a billion more books that we have to read together. Just saying.

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  3. p.s. you have to try Lauren Oliver's other books now too! I'm bringing you my Liesl and Po ARC.

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  4. @aLmYbNeNr: I forgot that Before I Fall was going to be made into a movie! It'll definitely be interesting however they do it! haha

    @Zoë: haha Yay! :D I made sure I had it there. ;D Me too! She changed so much over the week, it was really nice! :D haha it sure was! lol make a list and we'll work through it! :D yay! Can't wait, I've been wanting to read that one! :D

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