Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.
The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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.
Groundhog's Day + Mean Girls = Before I Fall
This insomniac's opinion:
What the above synopsis does not tell you is that Samantha(Sam) and her clique of "popular" friends are snobs and use their popularity to bully other kids at their school. Maybe if I was reading this as a teenage girl(and it is a YA novel, so I imagine that is the core audience) I would have identified more with the egotistical, living in the moment nature of Sam and her friends. Being the mature(most days) adult that I am, however, I was disgusted by her behavior. We begin the book with what seems to be a typical day for Sam- bully, bully, bully, booze it up, bully, bully, bully. At this end of this day, she dies. Here's where it gets interesting-she gets seven chances to relive her last day on Earth to make amends. My God did the changes in her personality/life come slowly. Only on the seventh and last day did she really seem more human than Satan's spawn. And, lets talk about the obvious: this was an over dramatized, teenaged version of the movie "Groundhog's Day". Thank goodness they mention the movie in the book, because we all know that it must have inspired the novel to some extent. In fact, let's just scratch the entire above synopsis and write what this book really is: Groundhog's Day + Mean Girls. Yep, that's just about spot on, my friends. In fact, I'll just go right on up to that synopsis and fix it. There- that's better.
Worth staying up all night to read?
I do enjoy Lauren Oliver's writing and the premise, while done before, was interesting. So if you don't mind teenage drama, give it a whirl.
Rating: 3 stars - readable, good(not necessarily likeable, but good) characterizations but definitely more for teens than adults.