Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

in a sentence or so: Sam is caught in a seemingly endless loop of the last day of her life. how will can she make all the right choices on her last day on earth, in order to undo the damage she caused and save herself?

Sam is a popular girl.  February 12th starts off pretty standard. coffee and bagels with the besties, ignoring the inferiors, shrugging off the affection of Kent, and generally being a bitch to those outside of her circle.  Sam's internal monologue is just as brash and cold as the things she says. this is not your secretly nice popular girl...this is your standard popular girl.  the only thing out of the ordinary is that February 12th =  Cupid Day - the day she is planning to go all the way with her hunky boyfriend Rob.

Sam's day involves several interactions that she will soon relive again and again. she sees a boyfriend cheating on his girlfriend. she treats her former childhood best friend, Kent, like the dork he is. she flirts unabashedly with her English teacher. she makes fun of Juliet, the school psycho. pretty standard, really. but that night, after a party where her best friend Lindsay drives them home, there is a swerve, a crash, and then she wakes up...on Cupid Day.

okay so the idea of this was a little meh for me.  however, the cover was pretty cute, and i had heard good things on the blog circuit, so i gave it a shot. SO glad i did.  Sam starts to pick and choose what to do with her interactions on her last day - some for better, some for worse.  she's convinced that if she finds the right combination, she'll be able to save herself.  if nothing else, save herself from this ridiculous time loop she's caught in.

the tricky part is, what does making things "right" look like? what things does she need to fix, and what things should stay the same?  and even though she has Cupid Day to fix again and again...there are years of regret that she can't take back.

eventually, what truly matters to Sam comes into focus and she grows to appreciate the important pieces of her life.  some of these were quite obvious, but i was truly surprised by some of the more non-traditional answers that surfaced. specifically, with her 3 best friends. i really like that she was only able to undo the damage of one day - and the magnitude of her actions for years began to weigh on her. but instead of spending her time trying to undo all her mistakes, she focuses on what she can and making a difference with that day she's been given to do it again.

with the exception of the very first day of doing it all again, i thought Oliver did a great job creating a forward momentum within a story that was on repeat.  i loved the slow revealing of the layers of Sam, and her friends, through different interactions and memories.  while the cover has zero to do with the book, it did draw me in...so i'm thankful for that. however, this was much better than i expected, and is one that i would definitely recommend to readers who enjoyed Elsewhere and Shattering Glass.

fave quote: "I'm angry at Elody for dragging me back here and at Ally for always being so clueless.  I'm angry at Rob for not caring how upset I am, and I'm angry at Kent for caring." (pg 74) something about the absolute angst in that statement made me smirk.

fix er up: i know it had to be this way, but i did get a little -__- with some of the repetition.  Oliver does a pretty good job attaching different responses or reactions to the same events that occur over and over, but there were paragraphs here and there i definitely skimmed.

title: Before I Fall
author: Lauren Oliver
genre: Death, Friendship

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

2 comments:

  1. this doesn't sound nearly as funny as groundhog day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. there was some humor, but not of the slapstick variety or crude variety a la Groundhog's Day, you're correct sir.

    ReplyDelete

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