Lauren Oliver is 25 years old, gorgeous and has just graduated from the University of Chicago, where she studied literature and philosophy
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 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.
Poignant . . . This tale of second chances will have you clinging on to your Kleenex * Now *
'Although I'm not the target reader I found myself engrossed and moved by this marvellous book' * Jamie Hodder-Williams *
'This beautiful story had me gripped right from the first page - full of both tragic and touching 'what-if's', it takes you right back to the intense and often cruel teen-age experiences at high school. Heartbreaking in its honesty, it's a novel that really makes you think and it stayed with me long after I finished reading it' * Rebecca Cooney, International Sales & Marketing Manager *
'I could feel the shivers down my spine from the first chapter, and I couldn't put it down. A really powerful read' * Auriol Bishop, Creative Director *
'A truly absorbing read. The writing is alive and powerful, and carried me along non-stop.' * Swati Gamble, Hodder Editorial *
'I loved this engaging, compelling, heartbreaking novel, and can't see how any reader could fail to be won over by Sam as she relives her last day again and again and again. I didn't want Before I Fall to end.' * Carolyn Mays, Director of Fiction *
'Before I Fall is smart, complex, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Lauren Oliver has written an extraordinary debut novel about what it means to live - and die.' * Carolyn Mackler, author of Tangled *