Saturday, May 14, 2011
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
This is the second Oliver book I have read. The first one Delirium, I read about a month ago and quite liked it. I've heard a lot of buzz about Before I Fall and so I picked it up a few weeks ago.
Before I Fall is the story of a seventeen year old girl who has it all. Samantha has three best friends, a boyfriend that everyone wants to be with and all the kids in the school look up to her. Samantha and her friends aren't always kind to others at school. They make fun of them, criticize them or shun them totally. All of this seems normal to Samantha until one night in February. As her and her friends head off to a party, everything seems normal. On their way home however, they are in a car accident. As Samantha hovers between life and death, she must relive her last day over and over again. Samantha soon realizes that the way she was behaving wasn't really her and she must learn to value what she has in life before it is too late.
I thought the premise of this book was really interesting. It reminded me a lot of If I Stay by Gayle Forman. When I started reading the book, I was a bit disappointed. Samantha is the typical spoiled, popular teenage girl. Her and her friends are so mean to people they deem unworthy. They are shallow, crass and really hard to read. At one point, I was actually going to put the book down and stop reading it. I am glad I didn't though, because as Samantha relives her last day over and over again, she starts changing. The changes she makes make her a much kinder, nicer person and I really started feeling sympathetic towards her. My only problem with this book is how mature it is. Samantha and her friends glorify drinking, drugs and other dangerous behaviour. I'm not sure I could put it in my classroom. I really want to because I love the growth that Samantha goes through, but there are a few too many mature parts to the story. I will need to think about this one!