Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Samantha didn't know that Friday, February 12th was going to be the last day of her life.  She also doesn't know why she is being forced to relive the day over and over again.  But given the chance, wouldn't you try to change that fateful ending?

This is a book that begs to be talked about.  I very seldom give 5 star reviews, but in this case I feel that it is absolutely deserved.  By the end of chapter one I was dying to talk about this book with someone who has read it. 

Oliver has created a flawed yet likable heroine in Samantha Kingston.  She is a girl who was once picked on, but is now popular, who does everything required to fit in.  She is a girl who holds power in her school and knows it.  She is also a girl who has set herself up for a terrible fall.  Friday, February 12th is the last day of her life, and she will have to live it again and again until she gets it right. 

I started this book on audio, and while it isn't unusual for me to switch back in forth between audio and the printed version, it is unusual for me to get so wrapped up in a book that I set everything aside to finish the book in one night.  Yesterday afternoon when I got out of my car after I got home from work, I was only about 30% through the book, by the time I went to bed I had finished the book.  In fact I wouldn't go to bed until I finished.  I had to know how the book was going to end. 

Don't get me wrong, the audio version of this book is extremely well done.  It is narrated by Sarah Drew and produced by Books on Tape.  Drew does a great job with the voices with the possible exception of the teachers Mr. Otto and Ms. Winters who sound a little too over the top.  Despite that, this is a great audio book, but I couldn't wait to finish the book so I picked up the hardcover and finished it in one sitting. 

This is a book that really makes think about your actions and what you would do if you could live the day over.  It was fascinating and gripping.  I think Jay Asher's (author of Thirteen Reasons Why)quote on the cover says it best "You'll have no choice but to tear through this book."  I am only sorry I waited so long to get to it. 

Cautions for sensitive readers:  Definitely for mature readers.  There is alcohol and drug use in this book, along with some swearing, and sexual references.

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