Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Review: before i fall by Lauren Oliver

before i fall by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: March 2010
ISBN: 9780061726804
Source: Library

Before I Fall

Samantha Kingston has it all - she's pretty, popular, and dating a hot guy.  Until all of that is ripped away from her.  When she is killed in a car accident, she definitely doesn't expect to wake up and relive the same day over again.  But, will she figure out what she must do differently with that last day or remain stuck there forever?

Things I Liked:
This book definitely had a high emotional factor.  It breaks your heart over and over again (with each "new" day, in fact).  I really loved how Samantha had to learn different things about each person in her life, a little at a time each day.  So much unraveled just because she started living purposely, instead of partying and not paying attention to anything else.  I was quite impressed with what she managed to accomplish in changing herself.  Oliver is very good at bringing her characters to life and making you care what happens to them, even the ones you don't like.  An interesting and very thoughtful book that will have you treasuring each day of your life, since you never know if it will be your last. This quote pretty much says it all and much better than I ever could:

Maybe you can afford to wait.  Maybe for you there's a tomorrow.  Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around in it, let it slide like coins through your fingers.  So much time you can waste it.  But for some of us there's only today.  And the truth is, you never really know. p 268
Things I Didn't Like:
I'd heard lots and lots of good things about this book, so I had pretty high expectations.  Plus, I had read and loved Delirium, so I was expecting more good stuff.  I have to admit, the first about four or five times she relived that day annoyed me to no end.  Not that I don't think it was realistic for the character, but I just really didn't want to read about the drinking and smoking and seducing that went on.  I'm a prude, so it's no surprise I didn't enjoy those parts, but I can see why Samantha acted like this.  The thing that these chapters actually made me realize was that I'm glad I never had friends like hers.  I was lucky to have the kind that take care of and make friends with those who don't have friends or are different.  And also to have the kind of parents who would care if I smoke or drank or spent the night at a boy's house.  Definitely made me glad for my own happy, if sheltered, teenage years.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (for some reason)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (a bit)
11 Birthdays (though only because of the repeated day and not for any kind of content, since it is very middle grade)

s-factor: !@#
lots in number, though surprisingly no f-words

mrg-factor: XXX
do they ever talk about anything else?

v-factor: ->
a few scary parts, nothing very descriptive

Overall rating: ***.5

What books did you like with unlikable characters?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I loved this book, so I am excited to read Delirium.

  2. I agree with you one hundred percent! I liked the book and even though I saw the need for the bad behavior and swearing it really bugged me.

  3. I loved The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett which has, in my opinion, the most unlikable character out there!
    I just reviewed it on my blog http://lily-bookhaven.blogspot.com/

  4. reviewsbylola, I loved Delirium even more than before i fall!

    Jenny, so glad I'm not alone :)

    Lucy, going to check out your review right now!


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