Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book Review: Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver

What would you do if you had to live the same day over and over again?  Who would you be?  What would you find out about your friends and their secrets...and yourself?

In Before I Fall, Sam is having a perfectly normal Friday, ruling the school with her best friends, Lindsay, Ally, and Elody: cutting seventh period, making normal Friday night plans, and being (intentionally) oblivious to everyone else that is not in their circle of friends.  That night, they all go to a house party, where the normal teenage drama happens.  But after the party is when things go wrong.  There is a horrible car accident, and the last thing Sam remembers is glass shattering and smelling smoke.

Until she wakes up in her own bed.  Sam doesn’t know how she got home, but she’s glad she’s home and in her own room--until she realizes that it’s Friday.  Again.  She thinks she’s having déjá vu, but all the same things are happening...even the car accident.  Sam lives the same day over and over again, discovering secrets she never wanted to know, and trying to live the perfect day to break the cycle.  How will this experience change her?  And will she ever reach Saturday again?

Before I Fall is the first novel by Lauren Oliver, author of Delirium.  The book is very similar to the movie Groundhog’s Day, but made for teenagers, with normal teenage concerns and angst.  Although the ending might be a disappointment for some, the themes of popularity and friendship, bullying and suicide will make it a popular choice for fans of teen chick lit/drama, similar to books by Sarah Dessen, Jay Asher, or Susane Colasanti.