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Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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.

Before I Fall
By: Lauren Oliver
Series: Standalone
Release Date: October 25th 2010
Publisher: Harper
Reviewed: Audiobook and Hardback

"Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver was a very enjoyable book. I was surprised by how much I loved reading "Before I Fall." Actually I both read and listened to the book because I had a copy of the audiobook too. Samantha Kingston has everything she could possibly want in her teenage life. February 12th, is cupid day and it is also Sam and her friend's favorite day. Everyone looks forward to Cupid day to find out who will receive the most roses because that shows how popular you really are.  As Sam gets out of her bed and gets ready for Lindsey to pick her up on Cupid day, she doesn't realize that this will be her last day. 

The night after Sam dies she wakes up reliving February 12th again. This time she wants to try to change things. Sam just wants to make things right. She wants to try to change the events of February 12th and make things better. Until Sam makes things right she keeps reliving the same day over with new events and new lessons to learn each time. 

I loved this book. I think it was a great debut novel for Oliver. I know "Before I Fall" has been out for awhile and I am late to the game because I've read her "Delirium" series before this one, but it was nice to go back and see what Oliver started with. I can definitely say that Oliver can write a great contemporary novel. The characters were fantastic. I felt like I got to know more about them with each replay day. As Sam relived more days, she discovered more about her friends than what she knew in her entire lifetime. The characters became real right on the pages.

If you are looking for romance, there is definitely a little bit of romance in this novel. It is definitely that teenage love trying to figure out what love is really about and who is important to you. There is definitely love losses too. This novel takes place in a high school and surrounding areas. Lots of teenage drama and teenage love. There are characters trying to make important decisions in their life. There are definitely some sensitive topics too. Sex is discussed and their is suicide, so if you are sensitive to these topics I would stay away from this book.  

I think that Oliver's writing really stands out in "Before I Fall." When an author writes contemporary, I feel like it can really show their talent as a writer. They have to work with the real world instead of creating a fantasy world to draw the readers in. I think authors in a way have to work a little harder to pull a reader in because readers are used to everyday life, they read to try to get away. Contemporaries have to pull readers in my the characters and plot rather than the setting. I really liked "Before I Fall." I liked getting to know the characters and trying to figure out when Sam won't be waking up again. Trying to figure out the story is part of the appeal to "Before I Fall." I just wanted to know what would happen next and if Sam could truly change things.

I give "Before I fall" four out of five bookshelves.

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