Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: 'Before I Fall' by Lauren Oliver

"In this Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls teen hybrid, Sam Kingston is pretty, popular, and has a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a late-night party everything goes terribly wrong, and the life that she lived is gone forever. Or is it?"

Sam Kingston knows she has died. So why does she keep waking up each morning on Friday, February 12th? To be honest, I hesitated in reading this book, because I thought the reading the same day over and over again would be too repeatitive. I couldn't have been more wrong! Oliver does an amazing job keeping this story interesting and fresh throughout. As a writer myself, I became fascinated by the construction of this plot. Oliver took meticulous care keeping the timeline, dialog and other details straight, so the reader remains interested without getting confused. I loved the day where a pissed off Sam decided to dress in a skippy outfit, hit on her Math teacher and smoked pot in the restroom with one of the school outcasts!

Sam at first tries various ways to prevent her death at the end of the day, but in her attempts to change her fate, she learns that people have many sides to themselves, including herself. This new perspective about her friends, classmates and family teaches Sam about the important things in life. I think most teen readers will find at least one character to identify with.

Overall, I give Before I Fall...

Plot - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Character Development - 5 bookmarks (there is depth to almost every character)
Moral Lessons - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Love Story - 4 bookmarks (smaller plot line, but it was delightful)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Rachel Hurd-Wood (Sam), Aly Michalka (Lindsey), Nicholas Hoult (Kent McFuller), Kaya Scoldelario (Anna Cartullo), Alexander Ludwig (Jake), Henry Cavill (the Math teacher)

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