Before I Fall

Lauren Oliver, Author
Lauren Oliver, Author HarperTeen $17.99 (470p) ISBN 978-0-06-172680-4
Reviewed on: 01/25/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Prebound-Glued - 470 pages - 978-0-606-23576-1
Paperback - 492 pages - 978-89-378-3325-0
Paperback - 470 pages - 978-0-06-172681-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-74686-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-74685-6
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-0-340-98089-7
Ebook - 496 pages - 978-0-06-198749-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-193831-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-197745-9
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-0-340-98090-3
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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.)

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