Saturday, March 11, 2017

Before I Fall By: Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: October 2010 (First Published March 2010)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 470
Rating: 3.5/5
With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and  how one person's life can affect so many others.

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam 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 ever imagined.

Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.

Alright, so even though I totally watched the movie before I got the chance to finish this book, I'm still totally basing the novel as such. I'm not doing a comparison, but if you would like to read my movie review, I do have it up on TheOdysseyOnline where I am a content creator.

Alright, so from the beginning, you dive right into this story and what happens to Samantha Kingston and it completely throws you off kilter. There's no room for you to second guess or be hopeful of a different ending (Although I found myself multiple times hoping that the ending would be different than I knew it would be). I definitely felt like the first part of the book was fast paced, and had me on my toes. I also felt that there were quite a few moments where I felt like I was almost in the book and the air was being sucked out of my own lungs as certain moments in the book played out. Kind of like I was running out of time myself.

 Personally I did like the fact that things happen when she changes the outcome of certain moments, because it shows how the little things can have an impact at the end of the day. Throughout the novel, you also see more of who she is as a person and the things that she deals with, struggles with, and finally realizes in life (or death).

Now here's where it gets a little fuzzy for me. I felt like for a majority of the time, it was very stereotypical of a popular mean girl's perspective on life and how things go "So terribly" for her, even though she had this amazing life. I also felt like towards the third time she repeats her life, it began to get somewhat too repetitive  for my liking, and it really started to slow down. I felt like there were a couple of the days where she repeats her life could have been taken out, and have the last day (the 7th day) used, because it really makes a finality to it all. As much as it sucked to see the ending the way it did, I do like how it all worked out.

Let me take a second to just talk about Kent. He is probably the typical guy that all the girls look over, but he definitely had my attention from the beginning, and when you see him among all of the other characters that have an important role in Sam's life, you begin to get attached. There were moments where I couldn't help myself but laugh or smile at some of the things that Sam says or does, and although they were really powerful moments, you don't fully get the emotion until the last two times that she repeats her days (I guess it would also be the last two chapters, since they're also so long).

"I've never really thought about it before, but it's a miracle how many kinds of light there are in the world."

When you're reading the novel as well, from the beginning all the way to the end, it's a really dark, and had kind of an eerie feeling, as if someone is going to pop out and grab your shoulders from behind you. Sam really sees what her life should have been, and tries to make up for all the lost time, and it's clearly evident. I personally just felt like it went on for too long, or it took a lot longer for her to understand what needed to be done.

There were some quotes that really stuck out for me as well while reading:

"Maybe before you die, it's your ghosts that you see."

"That's the thing about best friends. That's what they do. They keep you from spinning off the edge."

"I like to think how funny life is: how so much changes. How people change."

Although it was a pretty intense read for most of the part, I felt like a lot of it could have been taken out, or shortened from the novel. It was pretty fast paced at certain moments of the novel, but also tends to slow down--which I didn't necessarily enjoy.

Overall it was a pretty good read. It does have a powerful message that gets through the novel on how you should appreciate every day as if it's your last, and to realize that our actions and words do make an impact on our future, whether it be short or long. I would definitely recommend checking it out, because I'm sure a lot of other people may enjoy reading it, I just felt like there could have been more to the story to make it super fast paced, on my toes, and keeping me guessing what the ending would turn out to be.

That's all for my review of Before I Fall! I hope you enjoyed it, and I do really think that you should check it out!

So until the next time, Keep Reading!!
Your Graduated Bookworm!! :)

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