Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

22 May, 2012 / 8 Comments

Goodreads Synopsis:
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?
Samantha 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 losing.
When I first started reading this book, I was sure I was going to give it a horrible rating.  However, I clearly changed my mind by the time I finished reading it.  At first, the story seems very juvenile.  It begins in a seemingly immature manner with the narrator telling her story of how popular she is and how she gets everything she wants in life and so on.  These grade 12 girls seemed annoying to me (admittedly, this may be because I am not a teenage girl!) and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get through the entire book.  They are popular and seemingly-slutty girls who only seemed to talk about boys and sex.  I also didn’t feel any sympathy, or a connection, toward the narrator.  Suffice it to say I was not happy with the beginning of the book.  I thought: bad plot development, bad character development, immature writing, typical debut novel.  And for a beginning like this (with the narrator on her way to her death), you would think that it would catch the reader’s interest immediately.  But I found myself not even caring what happened to this girl and her friends.  At first.

About half way through the book, I found myself becoming more interested in the story and in the narrator.  Sam was growing as a character, which made her more deserving of my sympathy.  I began caring about her and what might happen to her.  I ended up finally giving two hoots if she did die.  I didn’t want her to die, especially now that she is growing into a better and more mature person!  I won’t say if she actually does die or not, as I don’t want to give away the ending.  But, I got more into the book as it continued on.

The ending was also a tad bit disappointing, but I did not hate it as much as the beginning!  The ending seemed like it could have maybe been a bit longer.  It ended so suddenly.  One minute I was reading and captivated by the story and the next thing I knew it was over.  Not a well-constructed ending in my opinion.
I’m not sure if I would suggest reading this book.  But if you decide to, just be prepared for a bad beginning and if you can make it through and keep reading, the story and character development will get better.  Teens might like this book more than adults, as it seems a bit immature for my liking.
3 stars blue
Thanks for reading!  🙂

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Posted 22 May, 2012 by Sam in Book Reviews, Books / 8 CommentsTags: , , ,

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8 Responses to “Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver”

  1. Wendy

    I will have to say that, after reading your review, I have little interest in reading this book. I think you may be correct in that this book is probably better suited to the teen-aged reader. Thank you for another honest (if not exactly complimentary) review! 🙂

  2. Yeah I kind of liked this book and I only read it because my friend recommended it to me but it just wasn’t a book that I could connect with…But I think the main character was the problem…I kind of really hated her, lol. Nice Review 🙂

  3. Thank you for this review! I have been eye balling this book for a while now, but I have not bought the book as of yet. I have been holding back. Thankfully I made a good choice since I can say for a matter of fact that I would def not like this book based off your review. I have little tolerance for childish antics. I had heard so much about the book Delirium I am shocked that this book was so horrible. Thanks again for your review.

    • I know what you mean. I haven’t read Delirium yet, mainly because I didn’t overly like this book and I didn’t feel that Lauren Oliver’s writing was as good as everyone raves about (at least not in this book). I do still want to check out Delirium to see what all the hype is about (and see if her writing truly did improve)…but it’s not a top priority.

  4. So many people LOVE this book, but I have yet to jump on the bandwagon. I am not quite a teenager anymore either. Not for about 12 years now. So I am not sure that this one would be for me. I can usually handle reading about teenagers, but not when it seems like an author takes it to extremes. Thank you so much for the review!

  5. I really loved this book. Part of the point (in my opinion) is that we’re not supposed to like Sam at the beginning. If she wasn’t so awful, we wouldn’t have gotten to see her grow into a decent human being as the book went on. There would have been a lot less conflict and the story would have been too neat and tidy. I don’t remember it being particularly immature or childish… and I read it as an adult.

    Your review actually reminds me of a book called Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison. Now that main character was awful: immature, shallow, and downright cruel. I couldn’t relate to her at all, because she was basically a sociopath… but we were supposed to root for her as the protagonist! I just couldn’t.

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