Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver

The high-concept here is that Sam, killed in a car crash after a party, finds herself re-living her final day - over and over again. But she finds she can make different choices, so the question is: what's the best way to spend your last day?

This book has parallels with Before I Go To Sleep and Before I Die (I thought I'd read the latter, but can't have done because it's not in my list) - and not only because of the titles. It also is quite like the fim Source Code, which I'd watched last week. The concept is a good one, and it's executed fairly well: I was surprised at how many iterations she manages, with each "new day" being different enough from the last to make it interesting.

The moral and ending of the story weren't really in much doubt, given that at the start, Sam is part of a Heathers-type clique of girls at a high school, and behaves rather nastily to anyone outside the charmed circle. But while the simple thing to do would have been to have Sam reliving her last day just once or twice before coming to realise the error of her ways, she goes through the experience seven times, which provides scope for diversions which make the story more interesting.

I think the book could have been better, but it was an enjoyable read. Not sure if Ella would like it or not - she's very keen on Before I Die, but I'm not sure this would be quite such a successful recommendation because it's not quite such a straightforward story.

Completed : 10-Feb-2013

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