Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

From the author's website: Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day 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.

When will I learn that I really just don't like novels targeted to teenagers (with the exception of Twilight)? This book was actually pretty interesting but I still didn't like it. The premise is a girl who dies but then wakes up the next day and gets to relive her last day over again, like Groundhog Day. She relives the day again and again tweaking it to see what happens with each change. I was curious about how the changes would work, I wanted to know how it would all finally end, I wanted to see the secrets exposed, but I still didn't like it. You know why? Because I don't particularly like hanging out with teenagers that I did not birth. I have two teens of my own at home and they generate enough angst and drama to satisfy any need I may masochistically have in that area. I particularly don't like "popular" teenagers like the girls in this book. I wasn't popular in high school; I was a nerd. I had a whole bunch of nerdy friends who made high school a wild and wonderful ride. I've collected a lot of other friends over the years but my high school nerd chums remain some of my bestest friends today almost thirty years post graduation! So I just couldn't work up any good feelings towards the characters in this book and that's a major component of my reading satisfaction - caring about the characters.

The author, Lauren Oliver, has a great website. She seems to be really connecting with teenage girls and that's a wonderful thing. Bringing young women into the reading sorority is just what we want to see happen and I think it's really exciting when a book seems to catch the buzz of teenagers. So, I am not saying, this isn't a good book. I am saying - this isn't a good book for me!


reviewsbylola said...

I am sorry you weren't a big fan of this one. I liked it a lot but I can be picky when it comes to YA fiction.

bermudaonion said...

I've seen several good reviews of this book, but they were all by younger bloggers. Since I graduated from high school 35 years ago (yikes!), I have a feeling, I'll think more like you.