Thursday, October 21, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Published: March 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

What if you had only 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 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

Awhile back, I took a break from reading YA and this is one of the books that pulled me back in. It is hefty, at close to 500 pages and I'm not even sure what drew me to it. Maybe it was a review or the cover (I think it's beautiful) but after reading it, I felt I had taken a long journey and seen something evolve, and expand to fruition.

This is a captivatingly beautiful story. One blogger put it perfectly – Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day. Imagine re-living the same day 7 times and then realizing that each day you relive, you need to learn something from it. Each time Sam relives this one day, she peels back the layers of who she really is and the things that matter most to her. It’s as if popularity has turned her into a superficial Barbie doll and along the way, she's lost her true self. I'm sure this happens to many of us growing up.

Ms. Oliver writes rich text and illustrates each scene beautifully. Her writing is magical and the words in her books really capture the imagery you need as a reader to fully immerse and invest yourself in the story. I was surprised to see this book at my friend's house as she hasn't been reading for awhile. Her boyfriend's SON recommended it to her. Now, to hear that boys are reading this book as well really puts the novel in perspective. Yes, the main character is female but her journey can be applied to anyone - male or female.

This story had such an affect on me I wrote to Lauren on her Facebook page to tell her how much I was moved by her novel. Believe it or not, she wrote me back. I was stunned. It was a beautiful message and I was thrilled that she would take the time to correspond with me one on one. Then, she sent me some signed bookplates. I follow her on Twitter and watch her blog for posts but I will always remember how kind her words were and appreciate the time she took to acknowledge my message. She was on tour at the time and I was floored that she did this. I know that as authors, you are busy writing, on a tour schedule, doing interviews and living your lives outside of your books but readers are the ones who will connect with your words and building the relationships with those readers is how you will remain successful. There are so few stand-alone titles anymore, (most nowadays are series) and sometimes it is hard to find one worth reading. Read this one. I think it will be worth your while. Lauren, I cannot wait to read Delirium.


  1. That's really nice that she was respond. I'm always shocked at how awesome authors can be, although I'm not sure why, they are people too :) I'm sure she was glad that you enjoyed it so much. It was a great book.

  2. I loved this one, too. It was so refreshing to find a stand-alone YA title that was so well written and had such great characters. I can't wait for Delirium!

  3. Great review. This was such a wonderful book. I love how it made the "mean girls" more than one dimensional characters.