Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Before I Fall: Book Review

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I grabbed this book at the library after I saw the movie version. I mostly just wondered if it ended the same way (which it does), but then I was drawn into the writing and ended up reading the whole thing. Of course, the book is better than the movie, but the film version (with the luminous Zoey Deutch, daughter of Lea Thompson, in the lead) does a serviceable job of getting to the heart of the story in 90 minutes.

Rather like "Groundhog Day" for a Mean Girl, I loved the message it held about how much power our words and actions hold and how we should use them wisely instead of cruelly. Samantha begins as, frankly, a pretty big bitch. The kind of girl you hated in school unless she was your friend and you were a Mean Girl too. But as the story unfolds, Sam learns that there is not only more to her and what she wants for her life but more to her friends and those she has been mean to for years. And yes, we all have the power to change. Is she in purgatory? Or is her experience what we all have a chance to go through for a bit of redemption before we leave this world? Some of it might feel trite to adult readers, but the teens it is aimed at will be given much food for thought. Especially if you are a Mean Girl.

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