Monday, August 31, 2015

In love with Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - My Review

SYNOPSIS
With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I StayBefore I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam 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 ever imagined.



MY REVIEW

So, I just finished Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. When I think about this book, my heart squeezes in my chest. It's so full of emotion and meaning, which is what I LOVE to find in YA. Before I go on, let me give you the run down...
Before I Fall starts off with the main character Samantha Kingston. She's basically your typical, once, geek turned super popular senior. She's best friends with the most popular girls in school, as well as dating the boy that every girl wants. She has the life most high school kids dream of. Until one fateful night.
Sam leaves a party with her friends and their car crashes, and she dies...well, sorta. She dies, only to wake up again the next morning to the discovery that the day has somehow re-winded and she must repeat that same horrific day over again. She gets stuck in a Groundhog Day situation, where she must continue to repeat that fateful day, trying to fight her way out of it and save her life.
My thoughts: At first, I hated Sam. She was awful to everyone who wasn't popular or that she thought wasn't "important enough" for her time and energy. Her circle of friends bullied some of the other girls at school and she was truly a selfish, spoiled brat. Her circle of friends were the typical Mean Girls. But that all changes...
What I love about this book is you truly get to see Sam's transformation. As she's forced to relive the day of the car crash over and over, a magnifying glass is put over herself and her life and she comes to realize how awful she's been. She comes to realize her mistakes and appreciate life instead of just wasting it and worrying about the superficial routines of her social circle. You get to watch Sam's journey of making amends and coming to terms with the person she was in the past, while changing the person she is in the present, even if it might be too late.
Along the way, Sam makes a ton of mistakes trying to figure out how to save herself and others from the accident, but she eventually finds herself, and with this self-discovery comes so many things. She realizes that her relationship with Rob is artificial and starts to fall for Kent, her pre-popular somewhat geeky best friend. And, man, did I love Kent! I loved how sweet he was and that, even though he was a bit nerdy, the author made him strong and confident anyway. He wasn't slinking in the corners and afraid to make his move. 
The ending was so heartbreaking, but even though the reader in me wanted it to end differently-- if you've read it, you know what I mean! -- the ending was perfect. It was the only way to truly end the book. I love that toward the end, Sam was no longer trying to fight for her life, but instead to make things right. The ultimate discovery for her also became that she really wasn't afraid of dying. She was simply afraid of what she'd leave behind when the time came. And isn't that sort-of true of all of us?
In short, I loved this book. Heart-wrenching but totally perfect.

5 of 5 stars!

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