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?
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
Review: Here’s the question I’ve asked myself. Do you not write a review for
the books you didn’t enjoy? Then, what would be the point in sharing
books and reviews on a book blog, right? So, I will share.
preparation for my Popular Literature course, I decided to read Before I
Fall by Lauren Oliver, knowing how much other readers loved her writing
and this story. I’ve had other students read her books and love them,
so I figured this would be my introduction. Sadly, I was not as
enthralled with it as they were.
The premise of the story is a
great one. “Bad” girl dies. “Bad” girl gets to relive the day leading
up to her death, over and over again, until she learns a lesson. “Bad”
girl makes crazier choices each time, knowing there are literally no
consequences. “Bad” girl then eventually wakes up and smells the
proverbial coffee and becomes a “better” girl, possibly. In some ways I
felt as though I were watching Grease backwards, with Sandra Dee going
from her smoking, tight-black-leather-pants-wearing self back to her
bobby socks and poodle skirt goodness. (I couldn’t help myself with
that comparison, because that’s really what I pictured.)
oversimplify—a lot. I’ll just have to own up to the fact that I didn’t
like the character. When I was in high school, I knew a number of “skanky”
girls (pardon the terminology), who just didn’t seem to see or care
about anyone else around them (but what did we know?). The girls in this story were so real in
that way, that in a strange way, I found I couldn’t relate to them at all. Even in the journey our character takes to wake up to her
choices felt like it took too long, which it really might be for a
person in that immature head space. I don’t know. I usually say that I hate to
judge, but I will admit to not liking the main character and shuddering
at one too many scene.
On the flip side, I’ll now say that for
the right audience, this hits home. I just wasn’t the right audience.
Some of my students love this book and told me that they enjoyed reading
a book from characters that felt true to life. Yes, that sounds judgmental on all of our parts,
but every person I know who has read this book has stepped in as judge
and jury as I did. Overall, I would say that this is a great story and
premise; you simply have to be in the right mindset and ready for quite
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based on a library copy of the novel.