Friday, July 23, 2010

Before I Fall

"I'm dead, but I can't stop living."

This is the nightmare in which Samantha Kingston finds herself in Lauren Oliver's stunning debut novel, Before I Fall. Popular, pretty Samantha, one of the golden crowd, the girl with the boyfriend everyone desires, the girl with the friends everyone wishes to have, the girl with everything, dies in a car crash after a party. It was the night Samanatha was to lose her virginity. Instead, drunk and coming from an outrageous social scene--the school's freak showed up to insult the four most popular girls in school, and was then publicly humiliated in return--Sam's best friend, Linsday, swerves off the road, the car flips over, and Samantha dies. . .

. . . only to wake up to the sound of her alarm and repeat the day of the party--the day of her death--over and over again. Is this the afterlife? Is Samantha caught in limbo? All she knows is that the day begins anew, giving her multiple chances to change the outcome of one tragic night. As her days repeat, Sam learns intimate secrets of her friends and loved ones, as well as the social misfits she and her closest pals have spent years tormenting. Her boyfriend is not the perfect specimen he once seemed; a guy who's been carrying a torch for her emerges as a potential hero. And all the while, Sam is dead, or will be--again--if she can't find some way to make things right.

This is a moving book, one that will leave the reader contemplating it long after the last page is turned. I can't recommend it enough.

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