21 July 2011

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver

A lot of people don't like to think about the moment when they die, but this book deals with exactly that: the thing that we may be scared of the most. Death. It may be surprising for you, but this book can be funny and sweet and emotional, the end may well move you to tears of joy.

Sam is a popular teenage girl who dies in a car accident, whose last day keeps replaying. The book was very thought provoking, as it makes you realise how your decisions, however small, affect other people. Simple acts of kindness or angry words could make other peoples lives better or worse. Maybe not to the extent of the book, but you get the idea.

The idea that you should be true to yourself is also a running theme that really hits home for me. It is so important to me that everyone doesn't hide who they really are, as then people don't truly know you and make false assumptions. It is amazing how one small change can make you happier than any number of minutes being popular.

Unfortunately, since the day is replayed and the plot is based around the same (or similar) events, the book can be a bit too repetitive at times. It also takes a while to get into, as well as to get used to the style of writing that the author uses.

The style of writing shows that this book is clearly for teenage girls, as there is a lot of slang use. It is also directly relatable to them as they are experiencing all the things that happen; parties, school, bullying, sex, alcohol, drugs. OK, maybe not those last two, but it is a possibility.

What is a shame is that it may be difficult for many of the audience to properly relate to the main character, let alone like her, as she was quite difficult to get to know. Only a select number of people have been in the most popular groups at their schools, and therefore it may be difficult for the others to understand where the main character is coming from. I also found some of what was said by the characters to be quite immature and a little annoying, but that may be my age talking.

Needless to say, the book was a good enough read, but for me there was a definite lack of something special. Even though the message and the thoughts behind it were brilliant, I am afraid that the book is only a 4 out of 10.

Lets hope Lauren Oliver's next book, Delirium, is more gripping...