Friday, July 3, 2015

Before I Fall - A Review

My quick and dirty one sentence synopsis of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is this:  it’s Mean Girls meets Never Been Kissed meets Groundhog Day.  

Sam Kingston is a mean girl, you know the type, and her friends are mean girls.  After a terrible accident one night, Sam is given the extraordinary opportunity to relive her last day six more times.

Pretty much throughout the first chapter, there are seven chapters - one for each day, I didn’t know how much more of the book I could take.  Don't get me wrong, it had nothing to do with the story or the writing, for I thought both were great.  I found my myself so aggravated and put out by the attitude and behavior of these mean girls that I seriously just wanted to punch them in the throat.  Seriously, I was mad.  I was angry.  It says a lot when an author can craft a book that evokes such a strong feeling in me such as anger.  

During the six days in which Sam relives her last day, I saw glimpses of a girl striving to emerge from the trivial, little, self-absorbed life she allowed herself to be a part of.  Sam became aware of how fragile we all are, of how one decision can completely alter the course of one's life, of how widespread the "ripple effect" can be.  As secrets came to light and insight was gathered, Sam endeavored to find a way not to necessarily make things right, because some things were just too far gone to ever be made right, but to do what she could to start making things better.

I don’t typically dish out 5 stars for books, but I did so for Before I Fall because I thoroughly enjoyed the journey I took with Sam as she reflected on her life, learned that all of our actions have consequences, and found peace.  

*One a side note, I listened to Before I Fall on audiobook.  The narrator, Sarah Drew, gave a magnificent performance, giving brilliant voices to the different characters in the book and bringing them all to life.  It is without a doubt, one of the best audiobook performances I have ever listened to.

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