{Book Review} Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on October 25th 2011
Genres: Adolescence, Death & Dying, Friendship, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Source: Purchased
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What if you only had 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 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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.

My Thoughts: Some authors have a true gift and Lauren Oliver is one of those writers. Her writing draws the reader in and her words have a magical and lyrical quality when she strings them together. Bullying is such an important issue in our schools and Oliver does a great job of realistically portraying the social strata of high school and how bullies act. As I was reading, I felt transported back to my high school years and life as a teenager.

“It was Lindsay who found out that Juliet wasn’t sent a single rose freshman year, and Lindsay’s idea to send her a Valogram. It was Lindsay who nicknamed her Psycho, and who, all those years ago, spread the story of Juliet peeing on the Girl Scout camping trip.” p. 149

As much as the book is about bullying, it’s also about the power of redemption, realizing mistakes and trying to right wrongs. As Sam relives her last day over and over again it helps her see outside her circle of friends and the impact you can have on other people without even knowing.

“I can’t stop thinking about how strange life is, about Kent and Juliet and even Alex and Anna and Bridget and Mr. Shaw and Ms. Winters – about how complex and connected everything is, all threaded together like some vast, invisible netting – and how sometimes you can think you’re doing the right thing, but it’s actually terrible and vice versa.” p. 424

How will Sam’s act of redemption impact the people around her and more importantly Sam? I had tears in my eyes as I read the final pages. An extremely powerful novel that I highly recommend.