|Buy it at B & N|
But that woulda been an all-nighter and I've got kids, so...
Before I Fall deals with the life and death of Samantha Kingston, a popular high school girl who gets to relive the last day of her life seven times. With echoes of Groundhog Day, Before I Fall is brutal in its portrayal of high school mentality and the revelation of what we mean to each other. It's classic first-person narrative is some of the best I've seen and drags you kicking and screaming into the story.
The content is a bit rough, with language, sex, and drug and alcohol use/references. But if you're looking for an excellent example of the hero's journey, this is it. Lauren Oliver makes this New York Times bestseller truly worthy of your time.
And another thing, every adult in here is an idiot. Almost a requirement for a YA book--I understand, the hero has to develop and all--but these adults really aren't taking an interest in their kids lives. If anything, the harsh realities in the book are a wake-up call for parents as well. Does that make the book bad? No, it's what makes the harshness so much more bitter. (Well done, Ms. Oliver)
While there's no WAY I'm going to let my kids read this one before they're eighteen, Before I Fall jumped to one of my all-time favorite books just for the lessons it teaches. As I said, the content is a bit harsh in the first few chapters. But with all heroes, they have to learn how to rise above the status quo and this book does it masterfully.