Lita's Blog











{March 20, 2011}   Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Best Quote: pg 241

“I mentally try to add up all the things I’ve done in my life, but no clear picture emerges, nothing that will tell me what kind of person I am – just a lot of haziness and blurred edges, indistinct memories of laughing and driving around.  I feel like I’m trying to take a picture into the sun: all of the people in my memories are coming back featureless and interchangeable.”

And I ask you.  Isn’t this what we all do?

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver captures your attention immediately through its cover.  The close up of a girl’s face with eyes staring, beckoning reader’s to open the book and read her story.

Samantha Kingston takes your on a 7-day journey, except it’s the same day over and over – Cupid Day – where getting the most roses determines your popularity and getting no roses is worse than death.  Or so Sam thought until she actually died.  As Sam relives the same day, she learns two of life’s hardest questions: Who am I? And what is my purpose?  The repeating days is alarming at first then annoying, but Sam realizes life’s not only about ourselves.  It’s about who we meet and how we grow better from them.

I worried at first reading the same day 7x would be boring; however, it was strangely exciting.  Each day there were more details about the “watery” morning sun, and more insight into Sam’s beautiful mind.  Each day there were more questions and self examinations as Sam learned who her friends really were, why she would love them despite their flaws, and what’s really important in life and being yourself.

The book relates to everyone as Sam directly speaks to the reader the truth we all know: “You’re just like me.  You would’ve done the same thing.”

If you’re thinking this is just a written form of the movie The Butterfly Effect, you’re gravely mistaken.  This character is 10x more believable, and it is apparent Lauren Oliver wrote from her heart.

***

Age Recommendation: 16 and up

Why? Because of teenage drug usage, sex, and cursing (for all parents concerned about potty mouths like my mom T.T)

Like music and this book review? Check out “For Good” from Wicked

Grade: B+

Advertisements


“It is about 8 o’clock and I am back on the front stoop.  We’ve seen this show before, but I keep coming back for an encore [mentioning fireflies].  Maybe I think the show will end differently, but isn’t that what they say about crazy people?  Only crazy people do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.”

Pg 131

This book looks at things we know and talk about but rarely experience with such brutality.  We see the harsh reality of a mom in her prime and being left for another woman.  We watch as she breaks emotionally and all the effects it has on her daughters.  You hate her; but part of you understands and pities her, and you hate those feelings too.  The mom has reverted back to her selfish, childish self.  She cries over lost boys, becomes angry over petty things, takes revenge on her daughters, and hit whenever something doesn’t go her way.

But The Possibility of Fireflies written by first time author Dominique Paul isn’t about her.  Oh no.  It’s about the two daughters she’s suffocating.  Gwen is crawling out of this childish stage (or at least trying to), while Ellie is still trying to play by the rules.  This 14 year-old still uses words like “sissy” and “mommy” as regular vocabulary as if she can still hold onto those happier memories before her own mother started blaming her unhappiness on her children.

Ellie meets 20 year-old aspiring musician, Leo, who finally points Ellie down a road.  And she starts down her journey to find who she is, how she wants to live her life, and how she wants to shine like a firefly.

This book isn’t only a story about a girl, but a story about transformation.  You can see this theme through the cover with its baby pink of childhood, and its elegantly beautiful calligraphy of what represents hope in the book as if she finally obtains to hope to grow up and mature.  There is also a sudden, almost impulsive, looking splatter of lighter pink on the cover as well, which says to me, “This might…no…this will most likely get messy.”

This story will always have a special place with me because I have experienced verbal abuse off and on for almost 9 years no.  I know the feeling of being put down and feeling unloved.  But this book gives hope.  It shares hope.  It is hope.

***

Things to know about the book – it is a little random and sporadic, but still awesome for a first time writer.  There’s hope for everyone else!

Pet Peeves:

  1. Leo is 20 in the book, but 21 in the synopsis on the inside cover
  2. Why is this story set in 1987?  Time doesn’t matter.  This stuff is still going on, and I would’ve been confused why someone was making a big deal out of blue M&Ms if I hadn’t read the synopsis and figured out that was the year blue M&Ms came out.  (If there is another reason why it was set in this time period, then please enlighten me.)

Age Recommendations: 14 and up

Why? Slight Language, drugs, sex (but not outright with details)

Grade: A+



{March 14, 2011}   I’m Sorry

Just ignore time stamps please >.>



et cetera