Hardcover - 480 pages
ISBN 10: 006172680X
ISBN 13: 978-0061726804
Released: March 2, 2010
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Obtained: Borrowed from Karen (For What It's Worth)
Genre: Young Adult
1. Before I Fall
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.
This book has received The Faerie of Honor rating. (What is this?)
If someone asked me what I thought of BEFORE I FALL, here's what I would say: Amazing. Spectacular. Breathtaking. I would be gushing about this book so much that the poor person wouldn't be able to understand half of what I was saying due to my excitement and inability to properly express how I felt about it. Then I would squeal and insist they read this novel pronto.
It's rare to find a book that affects you so profoundly that it makes you think, laugh, tear up, grow angry, and impossibly sad all throughout the span of a couple hundred pages. And yet, when it happens, when I stumble upon such a book, I'm blown away and am so incredibly thankful and thrilled that I was granted the privilege to read a book like that.
I thought I was going to hate Sam and this story. The beginning had me iffy, just because of how prissy Sam was in the first place. I could not relate with her character simply because I was never in her position in high school. But the character development throughout the entire story... oh my gosh, I went from loathing Sam to absolutely adoring the girl. I didn't think it was possible. Lauren's characters are 3D and I swear I thought they would walk out of the pages and strike up a conversation with me at any given moment.
It's not just the characterization either. The dialogue, the creativity with the scenes, the faintest hint of a bittersweet romance (that almost brought me to tears at the end due to the ending).... this book is a masterpiece.
BEFORE I FALL is the embodiment of what I wish YA books were like. There's no impossibly annoying love triangle that is so typical in the debut YAs nowadays. Sam's perception of love was written in a way that made me instantaneously relate with and value her as a character. She truly thought she was in love, despite the niggling snippets of doubt -- doubt that I also had as a teenager when I thought I was in love. In fact, during those particular moments, I swear I thought Lauren took an instance from my life and rewrote it.
Everything in this book rang true and genuine. Which is funny, because in most YAs, I want to scream and slap the heroine for bouncing back and forth between wondering if she loves one guy or the other in such a stupidly, immature fashion. It never comes off as genuine in those books, and it annoys me. It seems like it's added just so that there's more tension for the story/plot, instead of it being about the heroine's inner struggle.
BEFORE I FALL has easily squirmed its way into one of my top favorite books, not only in 2010, but also... ever. Lauren Oliver is pure genius, and I must say that she has now become an auto-buy for me. I borrowed a copy of BIF from a friend, but will definitely buy the hardcover ASAP... and I suggest you do the same :)