Thursday, April 2, 2015

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Source: Library
Pages: 496
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: March 2nd 2010
Series: Standalone
Verdict: Buy

SummaryWhat 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.
Review: I've heard so many great things about this book. I've actually had this on my list of must read books for awhile, so I'm not sure why I've skipped by this one, because it's seriously a do-not-must-not-skip kind of book. It's so, so amazing. I absolutely loved the concept of reliving the day before you die. It definitely could have gotten messed up along the way, but Lauren Oliver really executed. Like, it was really, seriously, amazing. Like holy smokes, I cannot believe I waited so long to read this. That kind of amazing. 

Sam is one of the most popular girls at her school, but she's not exactly known for being nice. Her relationship with her friends is kind of complicated. As the story progresses, Sam realizes just how mean her and her friends are, and there are moments of retaliation and also moment of acceptance. It turns out the their mean girl group image is deeper than it seems on the surface. Despite their cruelty and ignorance to other people's feelings, their friendship is extremely tight. They're close knit, and seeing them develop through every one of the seven takes of the day Sam dies was one of the many enjoyable aspects of this book. 

Before I Fall tackles the mysterious questions of what happens before death, what happens during death, and what happens after death. I think there's been a point in everybody's life where they have wondered what happens when death arrives, and I am no different. After reading this, I think that getting the chance to live your last day again and again until you've righted all your wrongs can be both amazing, as well as haunting. 

What I found to be really cool was how while Sam relives her last day over and over again, she experiences the five stages of grief. She denies everything that's happening at first, scared. Then she gets angry, lashing out at those she loves. After that comes her attempt at bargaining lives and fate. And then she gets extremely sad, believing there is nothing else she can do. Finally, she comes to term with her situation, accepting that the final result is unavoidable. The way this is woven into the story is really unique, and it makes the book even more fantastic.

There were definitely some parts where I was kind of sort of hating on the characters. I mean, not actual hate hate, but like a why did you just do that hate. If that makes sense. It's just that there were times when the characters were just so mean, and I couldn't stand that. I understand that it was part of the growth process, but that didn't mean that I had to like the bullying! However, that being said, I wouldn't take those moments out for the world, because they really put this story together. Without those relentlessly mean moments, Before I Fall wouldn't be the story it is. 

And then there were the actual supporting characters. Well, they weren't actually supporting characters, I suppose, since they all played such a huge role. But in the end, Sam was the main main character. It was really hard to fully dislike Sam's three best friends, Lindsay, Elody, and Ally. Yes, they were mean. Yes, they could be self-centered at times. And yes, they were pretty reckless. But their weird loyalty and love for each other just couldn't be looked over. It was an extremely unfamiliar, odd, but beautiful friendship. 

But then there was Rob, Sam's boyfriend, who I definitely disliked. He was just a total tool. No offense... to him. And he could just be so entirely clueless while acting like a complete jerk face. Not cool. Kent, however, was pretty cool indeed. His personality and hopeful demeanor were just so adorable and like-worthy. Kent, I definitely liked. 

Of course, there were the other extremely important characters, some of which include not so psycho Juliet, bundle of cute little sister Izzy, and more than meets the eye Anna. I honestly loved every single character, even the ones who weren't likable. Yup, that means that I even liked Rob. Because without him, Before I Fall wouldn't be Before I Fall

This book was over the top phenomenal. The ending was just so beautiful. And I completely fell in love. I definitely see Before I Fall becoming a staple in my favorite books collection, because I just know that I will want to read this again... and again, and again, and again. 

Pure perfection

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