Monday, December 6, 2010

Book Review: Before I Fall

TITLE: Before I Fall
AUTHOR: Lauren Oliver
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: drama
PREMISE: A girl has to relive the last day before she died over and over again.
MY REVIEW: Before I go into the one issue I have with this book I will say this is actually as good as everyone has been saying. Good writing, complex characters, a actual ACCURATE portrayal of high school life (although oddly enough, no one's on Facebook or Twitter...), and it's actually thought provoking which lets face it, is a rare breed of book in YA. The premise isn't very unique though and it's a tad predictable but all in all it's an excellent first book.
Now, on to my issue with this that is entirely personal and had no say in how the book was rated. My issue is the bullying angle. I appreciated that Oliver tried to get us to see things from both sides of the spectrum but I sort of felt like it was making excuses for bullies and I did not like that. I'm sorry, I'm aware that not everything is black and white but there is no excuse for cruelty, particularly the kind of bullying that Lindsey put Juliet through. Now this strong feeling probably comes from my own school experiences. I was never heavily bullied like some in this book, but I was most certainly picked on and teased by self-entitled popular kids who did it just because they knew they could get away with it. Lindsey reminded me strongly of these kids and that's probably why I detested her even at the end.
So, while I may not have agreed with some of the things and I found it a tad predictable, I still say this is very good book and the praise it's been getting this year is well deserved. I encourage all teens to read this especially. I can't wait for the author's next book that comes out March or so of next year.
WHO SHOULD READ: anyone interested in it, teens
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five cell phones

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  1. Interesting review. I don't think there was an excuse for what Lindsey did. But I still think it's interesting to understand Lindsey better. You may not like her...and you really shouldn't...but it's so refreshing to see a "mean girl" who isn't just a cardboard character.

  2. Yes, it was refreshing. However, that didn't make me like her any better. Like I said, my opinion on the matter probably comes from my own school experience so it's not necessarily the only take on the book.