Sunday, March 7, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Samantha Kingston is one of the most popular girls in school. She and her friends are cruel and condescending, and yet everyone wants to be them. Sam is dating the most popular guy in school, and she has everything going for her: Until she dies, the victim of a car wreck.

But then something crazy happens. Sam wakes up, and suddenly she's reliving her last day on earth. Confused and frightened, she goes through it all again and tries to figure out where things went wrong, but for some reason she keeps waking up and getting a "do-over." And as she continues to find herself in this strange situation again and again she starts to learn more about all the people who surround her, discovers what she really wants in life, and finds herself trying to save more than just her life on that fateful day.

The premise of this book is fascinating. What would you do if you could relive your last day? Would you do anything different, or do you have no regrets? And how do your actions, no matter how small, impact the lives of others?

The only thing I didn't like about this book was that at times it felt (oh, wait, it was) repetitive. I understand this was part of the story, but it really reminded me a lot of the movie Groundhog Day, which was actually mentioned in the book. The problem with this is that I really, really did not like Groundhog Day. So reading about events that were already mentioned, even if they were a bit different the next time around, was a little boring for me.

Otherwise, I thought it was great. Oliver really nailed the high school scene well, and it brought up a few memories of my high school days (which, admittedly, I wish I could have a do-over on). The characters, while at first glance a bit one-dimensional, were in fact startlingly deep and complex. It just goes to show that even those highest on the food chain in high school also have their own deep insecurities, just like the "losers."

1 comment:

  1. I hate the movie Groundhog's Day. Even though Andie MacDowell is in it to enhance appeal I loathe it. I still want to read this book though, it sounds so good!