Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I want to start my blog with a review of a book I read a month or so ago, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I received an Advanced Reader Copy by participating in the Barnes and Noble First Reads Book Club.

Description from Goodreads.com:

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—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

I am an avid Youth Adult novel reader, so I was excited when I heard that the next First Look book would be a YA book. Even though the book was not one I would have normally picked up on my own, I entered to get a copy of the book, as I can never turn down a free book! When I received the book I figured I would quickly read the Prologue, and save the rest for the weekend. That’s not what ended up happening. Once I picked the book up I could not put it down and found myself wide awake at 1 AM trying to find out how the book would end.

While I was by no means one of the popular kids in high school, I could recognize bits of my high school self in Sam. Often in high school I had the attitude that I knew all the answers, and my parents and teachers were just there to give me a hard time and get in the way of what I wanted. It wasn’t until after I graduated that I realized my attitude during my Senior Year was just a big mess. I spent so much of that year with the wrong attitude, and I would have loved to go back and change it. Unfortunately I didn’t realize this until after I graduated when it was to late to change my how I had behaved. This main character in this story gets the chance to make those changes before it is to late. Although it takes her a while, she really learns and grows as she experiences her last day 7 times. While some changes she makes are selfish ones, she also makes changes and decisions that really help her grow. The journey she took was so captivating and interesting I just couldn’t put the book down. I couldn’t wait to see how her journey  would end, and the author did not disappoint.

Sometimes I finish a book and I am able to quickly put it down and walk away from it. Sometimes I will pick up a book I finished months ago and ask myself, “What was this book about again?” That would NEVER happen with this book. This book left me thinking and questioning things as soon as I started reading. That curiosity and thought continues to this day. I will always remember the message this story left me long after having finished it.

I feel that this book can speak to so many different people, which is why I keep recommending it to people, and why I thought it was a great book for my first review on this blog! So many high school students think that partying and being popular are the most important things in life. This book helps you realize that is not the case at all. I think that this book could help parents reach out to their high school-aged children, and also help teachers reach out to their students. This book can really help them see what is important in their lives at this time. Even for those who have long since graduated, this book helps teach a strong and important message.

Rating: In summary this book was a great read. I loved everything about it from the plot to the characters. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to others!

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3 responses to “Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

  1. Pingback: 2010 Books « Kimmyblair's Blog

  2. I read this book because you raved about it. I was not disappointed. It was beautiful, life affirming and heart breaking. I was sad at first that it ended the way it did but when I caught my breath I realized it was the perfect ending. It would have been to easy and corny to end any other way and would have lost a lot of it’s message. Thanks for the great find.

    • First off I’m so glad you liked the book! I was a bit concerned that I would RAVE about the book leading to others reading it, and then they would hate it! No one would ever want to read another book I recommended again! I’m glad that you and Andy both liked it!

      Second, I so agree with you on the ending. I spent the whole book hoping it would end another way, but when it happened I realized it could of never ended any other way. The sacrifice is what made the moment so selfless. Had she not made that sacrifice the gesture would of never meant as much.

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