Saturday, April 23, 2011

Before I Fall

I finished another book for my 26 Books list. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver filled the B spot on my list, and was a bit of a deviation from my usual selections. I'm not a huge fan of contemporary fiction, purely because it has the tendency to strike a little too close to home. However, Delirium, Lauren Oliver's second novel, has been getting a lot of buzz lately, so I thought I'd try her debut first.

I was completely blown away by the intensity of this book. For those of you who don't know it, it's about Sam Kingston, a popular girl who is content to sit at the top of the social pyramid and doesn't really care who she has to step on to stay there. She's killed in a car crash, and relives her last day of life seven times. Sam herself compares her experience to the movie Groundhog Day, and I have to say I agree with that comparison. Nonetheless, it was incredible to see Sam's transformation from cold-hearted ice queen to a normal teenager with insecurities over the course of the novel.

There were so many layers to the story, and Oliver did a wonderful job of not giving too much away too soon. Sam really needed seven repetitions of her last day to learn all her high school's secrets, and the reader needed seven repetitions of her last day to be able to empathize with Sam and her group of friends. I'll admit, by the end of the book I was tearing up during some of Sam's revelations, something I didn't think would happen based on my first impressions of the character.

Overall, I enjoyed Before I Fall, and look forward to reading Delirium. I would definitely recommend giving Lauren Oliver's books a try, even if you aren't a huge fan of contemporary fiction.


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