Kari's Reviews > Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
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's review
Jul 28, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: could-read-a-million-times, ya, ya-contemp
Read from January 17 to 18, 2012

Adored this book. Add it to my list of loved, how-do-they-come-up-with-this? books. I didn't realize its Groundhog Day-like premise until (I think) I was through the first chapter. I thought, as a result, that it would be predictable and annoyingly repetitive. Could not have been farther from either of those ideas.

I was drawn in by the (sometimes painfully) accurate voice of the main character, Sam. It's easy for me to read YA books set in the high school and think, "yeah, I guess someone would do that, or say that" but while reading this book I was was thinking, "I DID that," or "I've heard my students say that." The character development was amazing. The main characters are far from perfect but have an endearing, friendly dynamic. The main character grows so wonderfully (throughout 7 days, even) and through some positive means and some not so thoughtful means. All are purposeful and informative.

I LOVED the setting(s). I thought it was a powerfully described setting where I am picturing every hall, every room, every car that is being described. The Chinese food restaurant, the party house, the weather...everything was easily visualized and came to life.

I feel like many books have tried this or something like it, but this was the best case of "butterfly effect" ideas that I've read or watched.

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