Overall Rating and Opinion of Before I Fall

Discuss the February 2016 book of the month, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
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erasmus
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Re: Overall Rating and Opinion of Before I Fall

Post by erasmus » 04 Feb 2016, 22:29

I read this book last year, and while I can't remember much of it, I do recall feeling pretty emotional after I've finished reading it. The book had a fair share of characters I didn't like, but the immature ones just made me look at myself more closely: did I use to be like them? It amused me on some level when that happens.

I also agree with @bookowlie that I enjoyed the book much more than I thought I would, especially since I felt like it wasn't my kind of book. I felt that it focused on the characters' social life a lot.
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Post by bookowlie » 05 Feb 2016, 10:06

erasmus wrote:I read this book last year, and while I can't remember much of it, I do recall feeling pretty emotional after I've finished reading it. The book had a fair share of characters I didn't like, but the immature ones just made me look at myself more closely: did I use to be like them? It amused me on some level when that happens.

I also agree with @bookowlie that I enjoyed the book much more than I thought I would, especially since I felt like it wasn't my kind of book. I felt that it focused on the characters' social life a lot.
Erasmus, I agree that the story focuses too much of the teenagers' social life which isn't my content preference either. Still, the excellent writing really made me like the book. I would definitely read another book by this author just for the writing itself.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by erasmus » 05 Feb 2016, 11:22

bookowlie wrote:
erasmus wrote:I read this book last year, and while I can't remember much of it, I do recall feeling pretty emotional after I've finished reading it. The book had a fair share of characters I didn't like, but the immature ones just made me look at myself more closely: did I use to be like them? It amused me on some level when that happens.

I also agree with @bookowlie that I enjoyed the book much more than I thought I would, especially since I felt like it wasn't my kind of book. I felt that it focused on the characters' social life a lot.
Erasmus, I agree that the story focuses too much of the teenagers' social life which isn't my content preference either. Still, the excellent writing really made me like the book. I would definitely read another book by this author just for the writing itself.
I thought so too! So I added another of her book "Rooms" to my TBR shelves in 2014 November. Although, it's still there even now.... :oops: I think I actually added "Rooms" before "Before I Fall" to my shelves, but ended up reading "Before I Fall" first.
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Post by Norma_Rudolph » 05 Feb 2016, 17:23

I only read the first part of the book and then decided it really wasn't for me. It's well written but just isn't my cup of latte. I would hope my daughters have more sense than the characters in the book, high school is not an excuse to act like a moron.
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Post by bookowlie » 05 Feb 2016, 17:59

I agree that being in high school is not an excuse to act like a jerk. In the case of the girls in this book, I thought it wasn't typical jerky behavior - it was over the top.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by PashaRu » 05 Feb 2016, 22:28

For me, good writing usually trumps a good story. The subject matter doesn't rock my world, but I could overlook it if the writing was unique and interesting enough.
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Post by saturday+deviant » 06 Feb 2016, 14:14

I remember that I hadn't wanted to read this book when it came out, but I couldn't remember why. After reading this in two days, I am glad that I did read it. It was a wonderful change from the general trope of a high school girl trying to better herself after realizing she was horrible since the end result is still the same.
For the target YA audience, this book has the potential to get students to become introspective about their own actions and how they are received by the people around them.
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Post by luxalaskalisbon » 06 Feb 2016, 21:53

I read this book when I was much younger, and it led me to many other books like it. I often compare it to "If I Stay." These two books were one in the same for me. At the time, I wasn't able to put them down. I enjoyed this book, although when I went back to read it last year, I wasn't as impressed as the first go round.

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Post by kio » 06 Feb 2016, 23:02

Read this a while back as well and I seem to remember liking it. Can't wait to read it again :)
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Post by Rachaelamb1 » 08 Feb 2016, 01:57

Norma_Rudolph wrote:I only read the first part of the book and then decided it really wasn't for me. It's well written but just isn't my cup of latte. I would hope my daughters have more sense than the characters in the book, high school is not an excuse to act like a moron.
Same here, not really my type of book.
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Post by P_hernandez » 08 Feb 2016, 15:41

Im almost done with this book. Im pretty sure I can guess how this tale will turn out. But Im not here to give anything away. Im here because I wanted to see what other people had to say about this book, as I refused to believe I was the only one who was not completely enthralled with this tale of failure and redemption. My overall opinion, thus far, is not a good one. I don't identify with or even remotely understand the rhetoric of repeated requests for the reader to look within themselves to connect with Sam at the authors behest. It is not my job to find similarities and likeness in the characters; its the authors job to create characters so distinctly unique we WANT to find the similarities ourselves. So many times I read something along the lines of "...be honest, would you have chosen differently?" or another thing to that effect. My problem with these types of baiting is that its kind of a cop out. That fourth wall doesn't really ever need to be shattered. I want to WANT to be part of the story on my own terms. I want the author to draw me in with a rich world full of people I don't want to say goodbye to. I don't want the author to sucker me into instant comprehensive recollection the way Dora does at the end of an episode. In high school I would never have been anything like Sam. I would never have chosen to participate in so many of the group meanness like she did. And doesn't it go against all maternal warnings to conform with questionable peer groups?

There are also a lot of pointless and completely unnecessary add-ins. Like characters that don't matter, storylines that go nowhere, and details that no one could ever hope to care about. I wanted to like this book. I really did. The opening page gripped me, for sure. But somewhere along the way on the second page of the book, it lost me forever in the girls ridiculous and campy conversations, the not quite on the mark simile's, and the truly mean nature of unfriendly high school bs.
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Post by TrishaAnn92 » 09 Feb 2016, 08:02

Over all I enjoyed it. I did get bored through the middle reliving her days with her and I did find the ending lacking but I would recommend it. It was unique, while I probably wouldn't reread it, I would definitely recommend it.
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Post by bookowlie » 09 Feb 2016, 10:21

TrishaAnn92 wrote:Over all I enjoyed it. I did get bored through the middle reliving her days with her and I did find the ending lacking but I would recommend it. It was unique, while I probably wouldn't reread it, I would definitely recommend it.
I also got a little bored in the middle of the book. By the third do-over day, I started thinking "do I need to hear about this day again?" I still would recommend it becasue the writing was very good.
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Post by anonanemone » 10 Feb 2016, 12:24

Honestly, I really didn't want to like this book. But the insight she gave to these characters was really well done. I thought this is one of the best redo's I've ever seen. Usually I will avoid them because of the repetitiveness, but each day took such a different approach that it didn't get boring. I also like how perspective changed with each redo on some of the little things like Sarah being able to compete in the swim competition.

As to recommending this book, I think it would depend on the person. I think the reader has to be willing to look beyond the surface and take the time to really consider. If I think the person I am talking to would put that kind of effort in, I would definitely recommend it. It's the easy way out to just say I have nothing in common with these girls and there is no tiny part of me that I can see in common to need to lead to introspection. The truth is everyone has said or done something they regret or feel bad about even if their ultimate actions are not equal to those of Lindsey, Sam and the others.
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Post by P_hernandez » 10 Feb 2016, 14:34

anonanemone wrote:Honestly, I really didn't want to like this book. But the insight she gave to these characters was really well done. I thought this is one of the best redo's I've ever seen. Usually I will avoid them because of the repetitiveness, but each day took such a different approach that it didn't get boring. I also like how perspective changed with each redo on some of the little things like Sarah being able to compete in the swim competition.

As to recommending this book, I think it would depend on the person. I think the reader has to be willing to look beyond the surface and take the time to really consider. If I think the person I am talking to would put that kind of effort in, I would definitely recommend it. It's the easy way out to just say I have nothing in common with these girls and there is no tiny part of me that I can see in common to need to lead to introspection. The truth is everyone has said or done something they regret or feel bad about even if their ultimate actions are not equal to those of Lindsey, Sam and the others.


But with each redo, as soon as that day was done and Sam went to sleep, everything went back to being the way it was the day she died. With the exception of the night she slept at Ally's, which was the night she finally started to understand what it was she had to do.
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