Before I Fall—Lauren Oliver
Dying was hard enough, and being stuck in that doleful event doesn’t even sound comforting at all—a bitter pill too difficult to swallow, perpetually reminding you of your once deemed perfect life, forcibly taken away from you. Cupid Day, just like every single year, should run as perfectly as possible—at least for Samantha Kingston and the rest of her clique. The number of roses you had accumulated for the rest of the day proves you worthy of popularity and a reputation for yourself. But would the roses still matter if you’ve lived through Cupid Day for consecutively seven days? Not to mention the imminent death so vigilantly in pursuit for you.
Lauren Oliver’s debut-novel Before I Fall, delivers a heart-wrenchingly beautiful prose that never lags to overwhelm an individual’s core. The narrative not only follows the story of the main characters but is also carefully-laden with clear-cut messages that are soul-piercingly true. At times, it would overcome you with guilt, but there is hope nonetheless. The characters were introduced two-dimensionally and unlikeably appealing—what with the irresponsibility, bullying, dumb blonde personality, worldly urges, and all. However, as each day unfolds, Oliver did not allow her characterization to remain lackluster—each one was given their fair share of a stellar display in the limelight. Even the side characters were given enough credit to remain as relevant to the story as possible.
I’ll tell you what: the first five chapters didn’t really draw me in. I was actually settled on giving it a three-star rating already, albeit the fact that I’m still on the read. Yet the last two chapters compensated for the elements that the five chapters fairly lacked, thus the four-stars. There’s a seemingly surreal entity that effectively lures you into the story, barely allowing yourself to prolong the imminent conclusion. In a fleeting moment, you will suddenly realize that there’ll be no more pages to turn, and will shortly find yourself singing the blues over the further tragic wrap up to the story.
The character development is superb. The gradual transformation strikes as realistically envisioned—it was neither hurried nor delayed—just the right touch of realization took place. I actually felt a tinge of pride as Sam slowly peels the superficial layers of her former self.
Romance wasn’t explored exuberantly, considering the moment so sparsely adequate. Needless to say, it was sufficient enough to create a fluttering sensation of glee and slight giggles.
A tragic redemption culminated the story but surely a satisfying one.
Thumbs up for a surprisingly good read!