Review: BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver

TITLE: Before I Fall
AUTHOR: Lauren Oliver
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
FANTASY ELEMENT: Life after death
HarperCollins  (March 2, 2010)
SOURCE: Borrowed from Library
RATING: 1 - Poor

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.

After reading Lauren Oliver’s DELIRIUM and loving it, I looked up what else she’s written and found this one. It is a strange tale of a popular/mean-girl in high school that can say or do anything to anyone. She dies in a car accident and then keeps reliving that same day over and over.
Complaint #1: Sadly, the story itself is rather predictable. The repeating of days and turn of events got rather boring, even though the love story got steamier and steamier. That was about the only good thing about the story, was how the romance played out.
Complaint #2: Too much sex, alcohol and drugs. What the heck? It had mild language and all she thought about was sex, drank freely and even smoked some pot. Classy story. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)
Complaint #3: The main character is less than desirable. I hope no one can relate with this person. Sam is mean and conniving. Then she selfishly tries to be good to change her own death. I’m glad she at least changed and grew into a halfway likeable person by the end and sacrificed her own desires. But that leads me to my next complaint.
Complaint #4: There is no ENDING! At least there was a decent escalating conflict, but how does it end? I read stories so I can see it to its finality. There was no resolution, nothing. Arrrgg… Yes I’m growling! So maybe the author is leaving it up to our imaginations? Well my imagination is saying, give me a satisfying ending! At least a clue, is she dead, alive, in a coma, sleeping, did it all reeeeeally happen and then she keeps living after the last page? At least the movie “Ground Hog Day” had an ending for us to have endured that stupid movie.

I have to rate this as a 1: Poor. A waste of time. It has an interesting romance but that can’t even redeem this story for me. Kent makes Sam better and is the only likable thing about this story. Other than that it was repetitive and ended rather disappointingly.

This is not recommended for early teens or any  teen at all. (I won’t be letting my kids read it.) Mild language. Too much sex, drug and alcohol use and references. Also there are inappropriate interactions between a student and teacher. I kind of wish that was not even included in this book. Read at your own risk, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.