Monday 20 August 2012

Book Review - Before I Fall

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Release Date: 22 July 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0340980903

What if you only had 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 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

My Review
This is by no means my usual sort of read but I read Delirium by this author and although I wasn't amazed by it I heard people saying this was much better so I decided to give it ago. Well this is another case of putting it by on my shelf and forgetting about it. But I dug it out this week and got stuck in.
Have you ever seen the film 'Groundhog Day', man I love that film and in a way this book reminded me of it, reliving the same day over and over, being reckless, being foolish, being perfect, being good. Trying to set the world to rights, being as bad as possible to see if it makes a difference. But this time it's a Teenage girl facing death, sounds morbid, but there is so much more to it.
Sam is popular, her group including Lindsey, Ally and Elody are at the top at school, and they expect to be there for a long time. The book takes place on 'Cupids Day', I'm guessing this is a celebration for the upcoming Valentines Day, the pupils can send roses to each other and it ends up as a popularity thing every year, those with the most roses are top dog.
At first Sam seems quite shallow and to be honest a bit of a bi**h, although maybe slightly misguided, she seems to follow Lindsey round and act as a way of maintaining her approval, they walk round school, even the town like they own it, she talks back to teachers and skips classes, the sort of girls I would always have avoided at school.
The first day really sets up the story, brings you into their lives, gives you some background info and then finishes with Sam's death, it then carries on so each evening she 'dies' or 'falls' and the next morning wakes up back in her bed on the morning of Friday 12th February. 
Throughout the book you see Sam come to realise what life is really about and what she wants out of life, even if it won't last. She tries to change not her life exactly, but the lives of teh people she will be leaving behind, she really grows up and makes some shocking discoveries.
Of course this book has a depressing undertone but it's actually quite up lifting, makes you think and appreciate all you have.
I love the character development throughout, not just Sam but everyone else, depending on her movements/actions you see different sides of other people and it gives you a wider view of the world and the people in it. 
This book is really cleverly written and I found myself just powering through the pages, I couldn't put it down. I was hoping that like 'Groundhog Day' it would have a happy ending and everything would resolve, but then in some ways I think I would have felt that it had betrayed the book and the storyline that Lauren Oliver was going for, overall I was satisfied with the way the book turned out.

My Rating


P.E. said...

I think I liked this book about the same as you did. I thought it was pretty interesting, all the different ways to live a day, and the ending was pretty good. Good review btw :)

Celeste said...

I actually read this one before Delirium. I liked the writing style and so I went to see what else she had written and then read Delirium.

barmybex said...

Thanks Shreya!!! :D

Was different, thanks for stopping by P.E

HI again Celeste! I definitely think this one was the better of the two. :)