Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review: Before I Fall

Title/ Author:  Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Publisher/ Year:  Harper, 2010
How I read it:  Hardcover library book
Why I read it:  I joined a book club on goodreads and this was one of the "currently reading" books for the month.
Rating:  3 stars out of 5

This is a stand alone novel written by the author of the Delirium series.  I read this a while ago right after I finished Beautiful Creatures. Want to know what's funny?  In the book, February 12 is a very very very significant date.  And the day I started the book was indeed February 12.  Coincidence?  Haha first it was Beautiful Creatures, then Before I Fall.  I was convinced that it was a sign from the book gods.  This is one of the coolest book things that has ever happened to me while reading books.

Summary from Goodreads:  What is 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.
Quick Review for those who have not read it yet:
Overall, I thought it was a pretty good read. It was okay for me.  The idea of the book was the main thing that intrigued me.  It took me a while to get into it and sometimes I felt like the plot was all over the place and I wasn't sure where it was going exactly because it was pretty much the same ting but different events and it didn't really flow until it got near the end where things started getting really good.  I recommend this for people looking for just a good read when there's nothing else.  If anything, this book was very thought provoking and gave an important message:  live each day as if it were your last.

The Review:
First of all, the obvious, Samantha Kingston.  I love Lauren Oliver's choice to make her protagonist someone everyone absolutely hates.  In other books, it's always the shy one, the one everyone loves, the outcast.  But, Sam was a popular, mean girl with zero concern for anyone besides her 3 best friends and her boyfriend.  If I met Sam in real life, I would be the kind of person that stays away from her, cause I'm not a fan of that kind of crowd.

What I love about Sam the most is her character development throughout the story.  OH MY GOSH.  HER CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.  This is my favorite part of the book.  I loved her character development throughout the story, even if it was extremely all over the place at times.  At first, she thought, "Hey look, maybe I didn't die!  I'm supposed to live!  So let's avoid getting killed!"  Then it all started to make sense when Juliet Sykes committed suicide.  And that's when Sam began noticing and observing more to figure out what she was doing wrong as a person (rethinking her morals) and trying to save Juliet, a girl she and her friends had tortured for no reason.  Her progression was amazing and I was happy yet sad at the way she saved her life.  She realized she needed to die rather than an innocent person.  But I love how she changed perspectives but kept the same ones as well.  she still respected Lindsay, Ally and Elody even if they weren't perfect and were mean for no reason.  But she discovered the backstory and understood, but didn't at the same time.  She dumped Rob.  Amen.  And she learned how to appreciate things in life, no matter how little. Like Izzy, her little sister.  The way she spent the day with her just to be with her, then gave her precious necklace to her.

I think my favorite character (and in second place for favorite part of the book) is Kent McFuller.  He may have been on the outs with Sam, but he was ALWAYS there for her, even if they drifted.  I love how they grew close at the end and how he always loved her.  He saw her for who she truly was.  He knew that deep down, she was still the same Sam from when they were younger. That Sam... he was looking for her.  Then, she began to fall for him.  I think I completely lost it though when Kent told her, "I vowed after that day that I would be your hero too, no matter how long it took."  I think that's really something.  They were best friends.    They drifted.  Sam became popular and wanted nothing to do with Kent.  I feel like this is one of those Snily moments.  "After all this time?" "Always." (SNILY FEELS I AM SORRY).

Here's my criticism:  the only thing is, I wish Kent somewhat remembered the "previous" nights when Sam was crying, then sleeping in his bed, etc., because then...we wouldn't have the insta-love factor.  On the 7th day, sure she was a changed person and she loved Kent, but I think Kent was just as confused as I was.  On the last day, it just happened.  I mean sure, with the plot and everything, it shouldn't be considered insta-love...but imagine if you were Kent, you had no clue that Sam had been reliving the same day for 7 days, and  all of a sudden she's in love with you out of the blue?  It's  But of course she only had one day to make it right, so it's understandable.

I did enjoy this book.  Kent is a very sweet character.  Sam had amazing character development.  And Juliet, and to anyone who feels like they relate to's never too late.  If I learned anything from this book, it's live each day as if it were your last.

What are your thoughts on the book?


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