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Really Ravishing Review (Before I Fall)

literati_rain66 Thursday, August 5, 2010 ,
Before I FallReview of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver.

Quickie: GO GET THIS. It's definitely one you're not going to forget soon.

Full: Sam Kingston has it all. She's one of the "It" girls in her high school. The ring leader of their little popularity pack is Lindsay, Sam's bestie. They giggle over boys, party, swap lipgloss, and start rumors. Sam's biggest concern is how many roses she'll get on Cupid Day, when everyone sends their friends and love interests a rose with a cute little note attached.

All that changes though, when Sam dies. On the way home from a party one night, Sam's group of friends is involved in a car crash. The strange thing? She wakes up... on the morning of the day that she died. Sam re-lives February 12th over and over again, each time trying to change things.

Along the way Sam discovers a few things about her friends, herself, life in general, and most importantly, how to appreciate the little things.

Before I Fall was fantastic. One of the most interesting books I've read in a while. You might think that reading about one girl's day over and over again would get dull, but it absolutely wasn't. She goes through quite a lot, and her journey is inspiring and thought provoking.

It is aimed at an older teen audience, or at least I think so. There is a lot of drinking, smoking, cutting class, and talk of sex. It's beautiful and I loved it, but I wouldn't want my kids to read it until they were about 14 or 15 and had an understanding of it all. It's perfect for older teens though, because it really addresses some tough issues, things that are hard to talk about. And it really gives a good outlook on life, makes you feel like it's worth living, even though it can be hard and difficult to understand sometimes.

I think Before I Fall struck a chord with me right now because I'm having a personal struggle with "people molds". I expect people to fit into these ideas I have about them, but they don't. My world has been turned upside down because a person I thought I knew recently revealed something to me that horrified and angered me. But does that make that person a "bad person"? I still care about this person, but I feel like I have no idea what to expect from anybody.

How does that relate? I wanted to put Sam in the "bad person" box. Along with Lindsay and Rob. I was shocked by some of Sam's thoughts and desires and her general attitude. As soon as I started to read about Sam I was going , "Ugh, what an icky person." But was she really? She did things that were unkind, even cruel. She lost control of herself, she did all sorts of things that I consider "bad". But in the end I was proud of her. She didn't have a big revelation and change her whole life, friends, and habits. But her perspective changed, and that was enough for me.

This was pretty much exactly what I needed to read right now. I'm still struggling with "people molds", I think we all do. I, myself, appreciate rules and lines and black and white. So it's difficult for me to remember that people aren't rules and lines and black and white. We're a big pot of "Momma's Soup Surprise". (You can't put soup in a box. It will soak through and leak and surprise you.) We're a bit of this, a little of that. And with each bite you discover some other unexpected ingredient. But for the most part, "Momma's Soup Surprise" is pretty good. I need to remember that.

5 out of 5 stars.


Lena said...

AWESOME review! I love this book SFM! Especially the epilogue. The epilogue is beautifully written.

literati_rain66 said...

Why thank you! And I agree. :)

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