Sunday, December 26, 2010

Review: Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
Hardcover, 470 pages
Published March 2, 2010 - HarperCollins
Purchased from Barnes & Noble
Before I Fall

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.

My Review:
Words cannot even begin to express my love for this book.  I received Delirium from NetGalley and LOVED it.  Everyone kept telling me that I had to read Lauren Oliver's first book, Before I Fall.  While searching for Christmas presents in Barnes and Noble I happened upon the very last copy in the store.  It was definitely a sign!
The book caught me from the first page.  I was weary about it at first because I kept thinking that I didn't want to read about the same thing over and over again....but it was fantastic!
I loved Samantha, and seeing her transform over the seven days was incredible.  I can't say that I know what I would do if that happened, but Samantha is an amazing character and handles the situation so well.
Samantha has a tight group of girlfriends - Lindsay, Ally and Elody - and they do practically everything together.  Samantha wasn't one of the popular girls when she was younger, but after a party her and Lindsay became inseparable.  It was hard to see Samantha start to realize that Lindsay wasn't all that she was cracked up to be.  I think this book did a great job of showing that people aren't always who they say they are.
This book has definitely earned a spot on my "top ten favorites of 2010", maybe even "all time favorites"!  I highly recommend this book to any and all YA lovers.  It is a fast-paced incredible story.

My Rating:
Overall - 5
Plot - 5
Characters - 5
Writing Style - 5

About Lauren Oliver
"I come from a family of writers and so have always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between "chortling" and "chuckling", is normal.  I've always been an avid reader.  As a child, after finishing a book, I would continue to write a sequel for its characters, because I did not want to have to give them up.  Somehow this did not get me ridiculed (too badly) at school, and I managed to make real friends as well as imaginary ones.
I continued writing, eventually making the switch to my own stories and characters (with varying degrees of success).  I also took ballet, drew things, painted things, made collages, sang, acted, experimented with cooking (um, burning) gourmet meals, and in general tried to spend my time being as creative and useless as possible.  It worked.  I made it through high school and college at the University of Chicago, where I continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature.  I was inadvertently aided and abetted in my mission by my older sister, Lizzie, who pursued a Ph.D. in philosophy and cognitive science.  This eventually led our parents to resign themselves to the fact that their children would never be lawyers, doctors, or even gainfully employed.
After college, I attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world's worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York.  My primary career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer.  Before I Fall is my first published novel.  I am deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as I have never been particularly good at anything else.
I live in Brooklyn, the happiest place on earth.  I (still) love to cook, am slightly obsessive about my kitchen, drink way too much coffee and eat far too much ketchup, even on things like toast and tomatoes.
I spend a lot of time on trains, airplanes, subways and buses, and write constantly - in notebooks, on napkins, using my phone.  I have ten tattoos (and counting - sorry, Mom), a wonderful family, and the world's best best friends, many of whom I have known for ten years or longer.  One of my favorite quotes is: "I will write this down/and then I will not be alone again." - Dar Williams

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

Wow! This sounds awesome! I've heard so many people rave about Lauren Oliver in general, and I'm really excited to read Delirium, but now I think I'll definitely have to read Before I Fall too! Thank you!


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