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Before I Fallby Lauren Oliver
I hardly ever find young-adult books whose main character is a maddeningly popular girl the girl with the hot jock boyfriend and the fiercely close but catty top-tier friends and yet, here one is. Before I Fall is a fantastically authentic read (verging on character study, in the way Sam and her posse grow throughout) all bundled tightly in a warm cocoon of page-turning loveliness. This YA novel is going to go places. Mark my words.
Synopses & Reviews
If you could trade your biggest burden for someone elses, would you do it?
Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert. They dont know it yet, but they are about to make the biggest sacrifice of their lives.
Lo has a family history of MS, and is starting to come down with all the symptoms.
Thomas, a former child soldier from Liberia, is plagued by traumatic memories of his war-torn past.
Kaya would do anything to feel physical pain, but a rare condition called CIP keeps her numb.
Ellen cant remember who she was before she started doing drugs.
Kit lost his girlfriend in a car accident and now he just cant shake his newfound fear of death.
When they trade totems as a symbol of shedding and adopting one anothers sorrows, they think its only an exercise.
But in the morning, they wake to find their burdens gone and replaced with someone elses.
As the reality of the ritual unfolds, this unlikely group of five embarks on a week of beautiful, terrifying experiences that all culminate in one perfect truth: In the end, your soul is stronger than your burdens.
"Utterly original, haunting, and honest, Strayhorn's literally infectious story of fear and hope will change the way you view your flaws forever." --Una LaMarche, critically acclaimed author of Like No Other and Five Summers
"Beautiful, popular Samantha and her three best friends are the ruthless queen bees of their high school. But Samantha is living a nightmare: throughout the book, she relives the day of her death seven times, with some dramatic alterations and revelations depending on her choices — ditching school to spend time with her younger sister or, on a day when life's rules have all but lost their meaning, seducing a teacher. She faces the often tragic consequences of even the smallest acts, awakens to the casual cruelties all around her, and tries to get things right and maybe even redeem herself. If this sounds too much like a Groundhog Day — style plot, make no mistake: evocative of Jenny Downham's Before I Die, Oliver's debut novel is raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful ('It amazes me how easy it is for things to change,' Samantha thinks. 'how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new'). Samantha's best friends are funny, likable, and maddening, but readers will love Samantha best as she hurtles toward an end as brave as it is heartbreaking. Ages 14 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this suspenseful thriller, teenagers in a small town are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . .regardless of the consequences. . .
“No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.”
Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature.
With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.
Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.
About the Author
Lauren Oliver was previously an editorial assistant at a publishing company in New York. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the MFA program at New York University, she is now a full-time writer and lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first novel.
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