Monday, June 14

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer borrowed this book from the library. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Harper Collins and is used solely as an aide to the review.

Samantha Kingston is popular, with the perfect life an a cute boyfriend. Nothing could seem to go wrong for her...until she dies in a car accident.

Only, the next day Samantha wakes up as if nothing happened. Only, something did happen. The day she wakes up is the same day that she died. The people say the same things, she goes to the same party, and every day she dies only to wake again.

As Sam relives her last day over and over, she begins to reevaluate the way she lived, and learns to understand the people around her more than she ever has before.

'Before I Fall' wasn't what I expected, not that I can pinpoint exactly what it was that I did expect. When I began the book, I found it a little uncomfortable. All this stuff about popularity and high school girls and whatnot seemed to me to be petty TV-clichéd drama that I could in no way relate to.

The book was very easy to read, however. The author has mad skills with words and the narrative voice of the main character - Sam Kingston - was eminent. It was almost as if Lauren Oliver was daring me not to like the book from the start. It was a dare I took on and one that I lost.

I found it really easy to visualise the story and immerse myself in its world. I still felt like an outsider, separate from the characters, but the character of Sam is sympathetic and the book was easy to pick up and not tempting to put down after every segment as I often find with some books, even good ones.

I wasn't crying or squealing or drooling over the book. My cat, Severus, was getting awfully close with it but I kept him from drooling - or as he has been known to do in the past, chew on it - as it was a library book. Perhaps he used his cat-psychicness and knew that his name was mentioned on page 169. Epic win. What I did feel when reading 'Before I Fall' was something subtle but very powerful. So powerful that you don't even realize it's creeping up on you until you've finished the book and you know it has imprinted itself on you.

I recommend this book to not only lovers of young adult fiction but also literary fiction as I think it is a great portrayal of character development and dynamics.

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