Sunday, April 3, 2011

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

genre: young adult

Sam's finally a senior. She's got three best friends and a spot at the top of the popularity charts. She's got the boyfriend she's crushed on since forever. Honestly, what else could she want? Until a party one night goes completely wrong, Sam's life is just about perfect. After the party? She just keeps waking up on the day of the party, a la Groundhog Day. She quickly learns how each tiny choice we make scooches us and everyone we interact with on a different path. Turn one corner, one thing happens - turn another, BAM, something else. Despite feeling complete panic about this turn of events, Sam knows that there is something she has to figure out before she can move on to...whatever comes next.

This book is pretty stinking amazing. While it's got its predictability, just based on the concept alone, I have to admit that I could not put it down. As Sam goes through her days and slowly figures out the consequences of her seemingly innocuous actions, she goes through a powerful transformation. I would imagine a lot of teens could find someone they really resonate with, there are so many mean girls and so many victims. I like this look at bullying, that it takes us slowly from what we do without thinking about it to how we can start to make things right - and that we DO have to make things right.

Despite the foul language and all the raunchy choices that people make, I think I would hand this one to my daughter in a few years so we can have a conversation (another one) about what bullying can do to us.

4 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I've kind of been avoiding this book because it's so thick. It sounds like I need to bite the bullet and give it a try.

Cozy in Texas said...

There was a news program this evening about bullying and one teacher said when approaching a "bully" he tells them he never wants to hear five words "If I had only known." He tells them those are the words they would say after they find out someone they'd been bullying had committed suicide. We have had several in schools recently. Very sad.

We Heart YA said...

Wow, I had no idea this book was about bullying. I have to admit, that's a topic near and dear to my heart (I have my own manuscript in the works, addressing it). Thanks for enlightening me! Now I've definitely got to add it to my TBR list.

Janice said...

I think this book is something that teenagers should have to read.

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