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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Image of Before I Fall
Now back to my regular reading schedule involving death.

This week’s choice was the NPR-recommended Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and, friends, it rocks.

Samantha Kingston has reached the upper echelon of high school: she has a clique of beautiful and bullying girlfriends, a cute boyfriend, and is on her way to Boston University. Her description of being popular  - “you know it when you see it, like a lazy eye or porn” - made me laugh out loud. Sadly for Samantha, her life will end after a party the evening of Friday, February 12.

But the next morning, Sam wakes up again. She appears to be stuck until she can make the day right.

While the concept is a little Groundhog’s Day meets Dante’s Purgatory, Before I Fall is one of the best YA books I’ve read this year. Oliver nails high school today, both in the lingo and style, but also creates deeply layered teenage characters. I can’t remember the last time a book made me feel badly for both the troubled weird girl and the Mean Girl who torments her.

It’s a novel that you won’t be able to put down, and I highly recommend it for teenagers, especially those who liked If I Stay .