Thursday, April 25, 2013

BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver

First Read: November 2011. I have been trying to get this on summer reading for the past 2 years, but it took forever to come out in paperback. I described it as MEAN GIRLS meets GROUNDHOG DAY and that is pretty apt. I forgot most of the details though, I just remembered the main themes. I read it fast, probably in a day, because the faster I read the less I remember!

The Story: Samantha is one of the 4 most popular girls at her high school. In the first chapter, she and her 3 best friends are in a horrible car crash on February 12 and she dies. But then then she wakes up and it is February 12 again and she has another chance to live that last day. Will she be able to finally do it right?

Re-Read: It is so easy to "sell" this book. The hook is irresistible. But in rereading (at my sister's house again over April vacation) I realized how much there is to the book. Sam is very popular, but she hasn't always been and she dishes out the details of her transformation a little at a time. Her three best friends, particularly the "Queen Bee' Lindsay, are given enough depth to make them as interesting as they are mean. The way Oliver deconstructs popularity and its polar opposite are very interesting. I was really moved by the book.

Summer Reading Tips:
  • Be nice! Seriously, people can be mean. It's not right.
  • Choose a day from your life and imagine you would have to live it over and over. What would you do differently from Sam? What would you do the same?
  • Don't read this in the car. reason.

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