Friday, May 3, 2013

Book review: Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.

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.

I think if you go into this book knowing NOTHING about it -- you will not make it through. Go back up and read that second paragraph of the description again. Looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend -- these features are important to characters in a lot of young adult books, but at the beginning of this book, it is ALL Sam cares about. And it makes her a mean, mean girl.

Had I not known the premise of the book and guessed a little bit of what it would entail, I wouldn't have made it through the first chapter because Sam does not start out likeable at all. And neither are her friends. They're not sympathetic, their shallow and vain, and they are mean.

But that ended up being one of the things I loved about this book.

Before I Fall does not advocate being a mean or shallow person. It doesn't glamorize that life -- it shows the gritty truth of it -- why the girls behave the way they do, what their thought process is, how they got to be like that. It humanizes the mean girls in a way I've never seen any other book do, but still shows that their behavior is wrong. In the end, I couldn't hate the mean girls at all -- I loved them for their good qualities. Which is so like real life.

I gave this book four stars. Loved it. Which I should have known I would, since it's the same author as Delirium, which I loved. It's got a few mature scenes (parties, drugs, lots of talk about sex) but I think it's great for high school girls who are probably going through all of the same things as these girls. Well. Maybe not living the same day over and over. But all the rest. :)

Have any of you read Before I Fall? What did you think? 


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