Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Week of Fridays - Debut Author

Before I Fall

Written by: Lauren Oliver

Released: March 2, 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers

Summary: 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: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High-from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day 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.

Ok, one thing that really irritated me to the point of wanting to scream about this book was the fact that characters were driving around drunk and were justifying it because the driver “never gets drunk while drinking”. I’m sorry, but that’s total BS and I am completely against it. I mean, it’s only in the later chapters that the main character Sam wises up slightly and either is DD or doesn’t drive with her drunken friends. But still, I realize that it does happen, but the stupidity never ceases to astound me into absolute disgust.

That aside, this book was something else entirely. I mean, it’s not a new idea for someone to re-live the same day ever and over again – the day re-setting itself whenever they fall asleep or die. Francine Pascal did it in one of her Sweet Valley Twins books (yes, I own almost all of them from my pre-teen days) and the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray is quite a popular movie. I mean, they even showed it in one of my high school religion classes…

The characters were, at least I thought, a pretty good portrayal of how high school kids have become; it’s all sex, booze, and the almighty popularity bid. I really liked how Sam evolved and how she went through the stages of grief as she learned more about herself and the people around her, even her best friends who she thought she knew everything about.

Still, it’s the ending that really sets this book aside from the rest and it sucks that I can’t elaborate further without giving it completely away. So I’ll just say this; while I liked how it ended – an ending like that takes guts to write – I’m so disappointed as well because now I have all these questions about what happened after. I guess it’s like the ending of The Stone Angel where the last words are “And then…” or something like that. I just remember that it was annoying. Basically, this ending made me sad in both the good and bad ways.

Ending and drunk driving aside, I give this book an overall 8/10. It really did live up to the reviews that I have read on other book blogs and I’m glad that I bought it. I also think that this was an amazing first book from this author and I can’t wait to see what else she comes out with in the future.

****On a side note: Chapters (for people in Canada) is having a 20% off sale on their Children and Teen books. It’s plus another 10% if you have their iRewards card. I almost cried I was so happy when I saw that on Tuesday.

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