A contemporary twist on the movie ‘Groundhog Day’, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver tells the story of a teenage girl reliving the same day over and over again. Now, don’t expect this story to be on a ’top 100 classic books’ list or anything like that but regardless, its genuine narrative and captivating make a very enjoyable read.
One complaint I have for the book is it’s foreshadowing. The book is told in first in person with the girl is recounting what happened to her in the past. Every so often the narrator would foreshadow what is going to happen, saying things along the lines of “if only I knew” or “How did it take me so long to figure out?”. I didn’t mind it at first, a foreshadow usually draws my interest as a reader, but after it began to occur every chapter or so at random points it became irritating. The comments became less of a foreshadowing tool and more of the narrator repeating thing that had just been stated in the paragraph before. The way they were phrased started to seem cheesy, and I became sick of reading about the narrator’s so called ‘revelations’. It doesn’t offer much to the story and frankly, is a fatal attempt at making the story deeper than it actually is.
One thing I have enjoyed is the way the author has made the characters flawed. Quite honestly, the main character is the opposite of likeable, but has traits that make her seem human and a real person. Even the traits that make her so unlikable are seem like real traits a teenager would have. The author does a good job of ‘showing not telling’. As the story progresses, readers see the reasons and motives this main character has for doing the thing she does and for acting the way she does. Her narrative also gives readers readers insight on her actions. As the main character repeats the same day again and again she makes mistakes that one would expect her to mistake and as expected, develops guilt and remorse after seeing the things she’s done.
As I progress through the book I only get more interested in the story. It has been enjoyable and an interesting read so far.