Saturday, September 1, 2012

Audiobook Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Read by: Sarah Drew
  • Source: Borrowed digital audiobook from the library
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

(Amazon and The Book Depository do not have the audiobook, but you can get the regular book)

Overview

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.Instead, it turns out to be her last.Then she gets a second chance.Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death-and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. 


My Thoughts

This book was wonderful. I don't even really know where to start with how much I enjoyed this book. I am a big fan of the movie Groundhog Day, so the premise of this intrigued me. As soon as I started the book I was captured and pulled into Sam's head. I felt like I was experiencing this with her. I loved going through the day over and over with her and seeing what she changed or wanted to do different. The lessons learned were so great. 

Sam is one of the popular girls. She has a boyfriend who everyone else wants, her best friends are great, and she has a pretty good life. That is until the night she dies and then has to live that day over and over again. She changes so much throughout this book and I think it's fantastic to see how she slowly realizes things that aren't right in her life or other peoples. She goes from being the popular girl who really doesn't care about much else to trying to basically save everyone around her. Each time she relives the day she tires to do something different and get things right. At first she thinks it's about saving herself (or being able to move on), but then realizes that it's about more than her. It's about her friends, her family, people who she has treated badly or never gave a second thought too. I thought her growth was amazing. It's too bad that it took death for her to really find herself. 

This book was beautiful. I love Lauren Oliver's writing and how she is able to make you feel so much. It's almost surprising. It wasn't until a little while into the book before I realized just how invested in the characters I was. How much my heart ached for not just Sam, but for everyone involved. Being that this was the audiobook I think that I felt everything so much more. The reader was so amazing with every emotion and thought that Sam had. When she would break down, I felt like I would too. If you are looking for a great emotional contemporary this is definitely one to pick up. The only problem I had with this was some of the voices that the reader used really annoyed me, like her teachers, Rob, and and a few others. It wasn't enough to take away my enjoyment of the book, but it was a bit cringe worthy. Based on the story alone I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars.

16 comments:

  1. You're trying to make me cry, aren't you? I've meant to read this book, but haven't felt emotionally ready yet. And I think it says a lot about the writing that this is an audiobook, and you became so involved in the story. I'm so happy you loved BIF. Great review!

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  2. I think you will absolutely love this one. And the reader is seriously awesome. Like I said, a few of the voices really bothered me, but I really felt like she was telling me her story and it was super emotional.

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  3. This books sounds amazing. I tend to not read too heavy of emotional stories (I cry easily) but this one sounds to good to pass up. I've never seen Groundhog's Day (crazy right!?? I love Bill Murray) but I'm familiar with the concept/story. This book sounds like one of those "more than meets the eye" stories. Great review. I'm both excited and nervous to read this book. Excited because it sounds wonderful and thoughtful. Nervous because I think I know how this book will end - bittersweet.

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    1. I cry easy too. I am such an emotional person lol!! I only cried a little while reading (well listening) to this.

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  4. Hmmm, I have two book credits at audible.com and haven't known what to use them on. I've never done an audiobook before (I can't focus long enough lol) but this one sounds good. Thanks for the review!


    Jenifer @ Under a Gray Sky

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    1. It's a great book. The reader is really good too.

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  5. I actually didn't really LOVE thit book, but i did like it. Sometimes i got annoyed of the same actions being repeated, even if she did things differently everytime. Though somethings WERE funny! btw, im still not sure if she's dead in the end or not~!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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    1. Haha! I think that she is dead and just found her peace or something. I could be wrong though lol!!

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  6. You know I've never really given this book a chance. I glanced at it and thought - I don't want to read the last day of your life. It sounded depressing. But your review helped me see I should give this book a chance. Looks good.

    Valerie]
    StuckInBooks.com

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    1. It's really not all depressing. It was actually really cool to see what she wanted to change and things she wanted to differently. Also knowing she will start over again on the same day, trying to make the most of it.

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  7. Great review! I read this one a few years ago and really liked the story. I had hard time liking the main character for most of the book but overall I fell in love with the story. Still have this book on my mind years later too. I like Olivers Delirium series a lot more though.

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    1. I wonder how much different this would have been if I had read it myself rather than the audiobook. The reader put such emotion into it that I couldn't help but like Sam even when I didn't want to. I don't know if me reading it would have portrayed that type of emotion.

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  8. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one Amy! I read this one sometime this year, and I loved it. I was surprised by how much I was invested in the story- I didn't even realize it, just like you! =) It's amazing how Lauren Oliver portrays these characters, and the character growth. I want to say that it's a bit unbelievable, but truly, it's not. I thought it was super realistic that Samantha changed so much in the book, and I loved watching her go through those changes.

    (On a side note: I got to meet Lauren Oliver at a book event, and she was SO cool! She like sat on the table while she was talking, and was so approachable. I really liked her in person, which made me love her books even more! I mean, she even signed "Don't hate me for the ending" in my copy of Pandemonium!! How cool is that?!)

    Fabulous review Amy! <3 (Sorry for that mini side note there, I just love telling everyone I've met Lauren Oliver ;))

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  9. This book was amazing!!! I cried for weeks!!! LOL I really loved the groundhog day thing and the lessons Sam learned. I think it was beautifully and realistically told! One of my favorites!

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  10. I'm so glad you liked this. I really want to read it. I love Groundhog Day too! Now, I'm even more excited to read this. Thanks chick!

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  11. LOVED this book! The change that Sam goes through is immense and beautiful. You are making me want to re read it because I just loved it that much and I know there are little details that I am not remembering right now. Great review Amy!

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