Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver

2012 Book 40: Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver (2/28/2012)

Reason for Reading: Was looking for a redemption theme

My Review: 3/5 stars
Sam Kingston is a mean-girl with everything she needs: popularity, the hunky boyfriend, and popular mean-girl friends. When she dies in a car accident, she is given the chance to live her final day 6 more times. She learns that nobody is exactly what they seem and that everyone is redeemable. I was eager to read this book because I thought it would be an interesting twist on the Groundhog Day theme. However, I didn’t realize that it would be a regurgitation of 80’s and 90’s movies to the point where there were very few truly original scenes. It’s basically Groundhog Day in a mish-mash of high school flicks with other movies worked in. I was actually to the point of looking for the “token black kid” it was so regurgitated (no appearance). So, I was a little disappointed in the author’s skill. On the other hand, many teens (for whom this book is intended) will not have grown up on 80’s and 90’s movies and might find the book quite interesting and original, though very sad. The theme of redemption and everyone’s-the-same-on-the-inside was applaudable. The writing was smooth and engaging, though the beginning was a little irritating because you had to choke through her mean-girl attitude. It’s good for a light read, but it’s not literature.

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