Wow, wow, and wow. When I started reading this book, I didn’t plan on writing a review. I try to mix in a book just-for-fun every now and then. But at the insistence of Amy at My Overstuffed Bookshelf, here it is. Well, it’s more of a book reflection than a book review, but nonetheless, here are my thoughts.
This book is one that I was asked to read as a Mock Printz group reading. Not a requirement for my involvement in the group, but a suggestion. After waiting 3 weeks while it was checked out from the library by another patron, I didn’t know if I would actually get around to reading it anytime soon. Thank goodness I decided to make the commitment.
Before I Fall is a YA novel in which the main character, high school senior Sam Kingston, experiences her last day of life 7 different times. Throughout the book, we experience each of the seven days with her, as she struggles through making decisions, trying to save her own life and others lives. As a member of the most popular group at Thomas Jefferson High, Sam has few friends yet many, many distant admirers. Author Lauren Oliver’s character creation is too incredible to even describe, as we see Sam start off as a shallow teenager and end as a selfless yet demanding and in-control young woman.
As I tore through this novel, I couldn’t help but reflect on my high school days, filled with playing softball with the popular girls, yet never attending parties and frequenting church functions and being surprisingly happy with that. Before I Fall gave me a whole new insight into the world of popularity, money and expectations. No matter what your social status was during your teen years, you will find yourself relating to those goddesses we called the “popular” girls. While some parts of the novel are bit drawn out and detail-filled, every moment is critical to understanding the ending and why Sam makes the decisions she does. If this book is on your TBR list, pick it up right now and start reading it. You will not be disappointed.
Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver
Published March 2010