Note: This time of year is always very busy for me. Last year, I hadn't really started blogging yet, so I was able to keep myself above the craziness. This year, I am. My blog is slightly inactive due to the holiday craze. Hopefully will return to the regular posting after the new year. :)
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Page Number: 470 pages
Overall Rating: 4/5
"You just don't know.
But I think that's a good thing, really, because if you did know it would be almost impossible to let go. When you do know, it's like being asked to step off the edge of a cliff: all you want to do is get down on your hands and knees and kiss the solid ground, smell it, hold on to it."
Yes, this novel came out a year ago. Yes, I just read it. Yes, I live under a rock. I hate to admit it, but it was one of those books I saw, heard people talking about it, but I wanted to be stubborn and not read it. I was missing out.
I think this novel has taught me to read a book before I ever judge the character. I thought Sam was going to be annoying and snobby, which she was at first, but this novel isn't the sort of thing where it's focused on defeating a villain. This novel was about change.
I'm not sure what it was, but this novel was new to me, refreshing. I read so much paranormal romance, the kind of books that are sprinkled with vampires and werewolves and pixies. Reading something new, something I hadn't read in a long time, was good for me.
I guess my point here was, Sam was obnoxious and mean at first, but throughout the novel, she undergoes this amazing change. She learns from everything and grows, flourishes.
I don't know what to say about this novel. It left me breathless and a little watery-eyed, but it's one of those things you have to read to understand if you'll like it or not. You can't just rely on someone's review over the internet with this one, because it involves some thinking on your part.
I don't what it is with Lauren Oliver's writing, but she has this way of seeing into your soul with her writing. The emotions her characters experience are familiar, even though I've obviously never been in their shoes. I think that's what makes me enjoy her novels so much. The characters are so realistic and normal, and what makes them different from yourself is what they're going through. It's very easy to put yourself in their places and really step into the store.
This novel is one of those in which you inevitably step back and take a look at yourself while you read. You think about something you've said to hurt someone, whether you meant to or not. You remember all the times someone did something to someone and instead of speaking up, you let your own laughter mix into the chorus of taunts. You feel your cheeks go red as you recall being bullied by someone else, wishing that someone had spoke up for you. Then you feel guilty for realizing you had never done the same for them, so why shouldn't they stand and point and laugh at you? You realize that you've forgiven someone too many times, and that you've given out second (and third, and fourth, and fifth) chances that weren't deserved.
This is a book that will make you get to know yourself again.
I recommended this book to anyone who likes emotion and thought. If you're the sort of person who just hopes for hour long make out scenes, this isn't for you. This novel doesn't focus on any guy. Its about Samantha Emily Kingston and herself. If you want a girl who's life revolves around some guy and how much she's in "love" with him, this isn't the novel for you.