Friday, April 2, 2010

Review by Alex- Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
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.

First Impressions: When I first heard of Before I Fall, oh ages ago, back in 2009, I was really intruiged. Fantastic sounding premise, beautiful cover... what more could you ask for?

Before I Fall starts with Sam dying, and is just a rollercoaster from that very moment. The story never gets dull, despite the fact that it's the same day seven times. But Sam's actions change, her opinions, her emotions, and that's what makes the story. She grows, and evolves, and transitions through high and lows, until the very end.

The main characters are fleshed out well, Sam and Lindsay especially. Lindsay, Sam's wild and crazy friend, the leader of the group, is quite the fascinating girl. Since we go through the same day seven times, the pieces start to click with Lindsay and why she is who she is. It's beautifully done. It's too bad that some of the secondary characters weren't as involved and described as much, like the love interest either.

My minimal problem with the novel, would probably be that I didn't really like the characters too much. Or, maybe not didn't like them, but didn't like them as much as one would think I would. Before I Fall's a novel to get invested in, to tear apart in one go, and for me, it wasn't quite like that. It took a little bit of warming up, because I didn't like Sam or Lindsay at first. Warmed up to Sam quickly enough, but Lindsay I still didn't feel much sympathy for at the end. But fret not, because I'm sure others will.

The novel's a bit of an enigma, and some things are not fully explained, which only leaves the mind to try to guess and fill in the gaps, which is both beautiful and aggravating. Before I Fall has pretty much everything one would want in a novel- fully realised characters with depth, redemption, love, a touch of magic, a high school setting, and an honest voice.

It's heartbreaking at times, funny at others, but true and poignant all throughout.

Final Impressions: Before I Fall is definitely one of the best teen novels I've read in a while, and is surely worthy of being on your to-read list, if it isn't already. (But I'm sure almost everyone has heard the praise for Before I Fall.)

Favourite Character: Probably Sam, because one of ones we get to know best, being the main character. Or Juliet, maybe?

Add to shelf: For sure. I bought it, and that's saying quite a bit. It's worth it to buy as a hardcover and keep on your shelf.


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