As compelling as The Lovely Bones and as memorable as Jenny Downham's Before I Die, this will become a word-of-mouth phenomenon.
Lauren Oliver was previously an editorial assistant at a publishing house in New York. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the MFA program at New York University, she is now a full-time writer and lives in Brooklyn, New York. BEFORE I FALL is her first novel.
Beautiful, popular Samantha and her three best friends are the ruthless queen bees of their high school. But Samantha is living a nightmare: throughout the book, she relives the day of her death seven times, with some dramatic alterations and revelations depending on her choices-ditching school to spend time with her younger sister or, on a day when life's rules have all but lost their meaning, seducing a teacher. She faces the often tragic consequences of even the smallest acts, awakens to the casual cruelties all around her, and tries to get things right and maybe even redeem herself. If this sounds too much like a Groundhog Day-style plot, make no mistake: evocative of Jenny Downham's Before I Die, Oliver's debut novel is raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful ("It amazes me how easy it is for things to change," Samantha thinks. "how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new"). Samantha's best friends are funny, likable, and maddening, but readers will love Samantha best as she hurtles toward an end as brave as it is heartbreaking. Ages 14-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
In her debut novel, Lauren Oliver channels all the awkwardness and wonder of teenage consciousness within a poignant framework...as someone said of Nick Hornby, it takes a mature writer to describe immaturity, Lauren Oliver proves this to be true in her thought provoking memorable debut. - Herald Sun the tone is balanced by the suspense and knowing asides about how schoolgirls really think and operate -the author herself is only 25. In learning the consequences of every action, the dawning of compassion and capacity to love, Oliver gets to the heart of the matter-what it means to live a good life that transcends the typical high-school thriller. - Sunday Times Perth It s a powerful story with a great message. - Girlfriend an incredible debut...This exquisitely written novel renders perfectly the world of today's teenager... this inspiring tale refrains from simple moralising, instead surprising us with a superbly complex and humane ending. - Hobart Mercury Forget reality and enjoy this achingly heartbreaking debut...an excellent read. - NW Drawing comparisons with the bestselling The Lovely Bones, this is the story of 18-year-old Sam Kingston, who is killed in a car crash one rainy night... Oliver packs a powerful message in her teenage voice.' - The Sunday TelegraphPoignant . . . This tale of second chances will have you clinging on to your Kleenex - Now'BEFORE I FALL is beautifully written; brave, sincere and very addictive. It captures the essence of high-school brilliantly, and will have you laughing, crying and philosophising. I wholeheartedly recommend BEFORE I FALL. The best book I ve read in the last year.' - www.novelicious.com
In the blink of an eye, popular high school student Samantha Kingston loses her life. What should have been a fantastic day turns out to be the beginning of a horrific afterlife experience. In the wake of a fiery car crash, Sam wakes up on Friday, February 12-again and again and again, as she relives that fatal day seven times. Sarah Drew narrates Lauren Oliver's powerful debut novel (HarperCollins, 2010), brilliantly bringing Sam to life and capturing her transformation from a mean and reckless teen into a thoughtful, caring young woman. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.