Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

March 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm 1 comment

Snarky, shallow and self-absorbed, Samantha Kingston has such a perfect life that she really doesn’t care about much outside her own tight circle of best friends.  February 12 would be just another Friday of preening at school if it weren’t for the promise she’d made with her boyfriend that tonight they would have sex.   At a party that night, however, things go don’t go according to plan and the night ends with a horrific and deadly crash.

Samantha is dead.

Yet she wakes up as if from a dream to realize its again February 12th and she is again going to be late for school if she doesn’t hurry.  Totally freaking out from the dream, she begins to realize that the day is unfolding just as it did in  her dream.  Recognizing that if she were to change a few things maybe the crash could be avoided, Samantha makes some different choices, but again winds up waking on February 12 from the dream that ends in a fatal car crash.

It takes seven days of  waking from that dream before Samantha figures out how to save her life in a different way.  It may seem like Gossip Girls goes Ground Hog Day, but Lauren Oliver skillfully creates a mix of humor,  insight and tenderness in this, her first novel.   Samantha gradually evolves toward her self-awareness on a journey where simple choices have unforseen consequences.  It makes for a compelling page-turner that will have you guessing right up to the end just what is going to happen for Samantha and her friends.

John Sexton.  WLS

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. amandan  |  July 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    It is a wonderful book. I began to cry even before the end.

    Reply

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