Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver This review was first posted on Music, Books and TeaBefore I Fall is a very marmite book to me…I reckon people will either love it or hate it. Personally, I loved it, and I loved the message that was conveyed through the story. It was written so cleverly, with each day revealing a little more about the back story of the characters, which meant that I didn’t know what was going to happen right up until the very last page of the story, which I thought was fantastic. It helped to keep me hooked, and I literally did not stop reading right from when I started the book to the final full stop at the end. It was such a compelling and emotional read, and Lauren Oliver is one hugely talented author.Sam, the main character, was a girl who I honestly did not believe I would connect with. She goes through several incarnations of herself, and I ended up finding myself drawn to different parts of each one. Her insecurities when it came to popularity and her friendship group were extremely relatable to me – whilst I was nothing like Sam, I still shared those same fears, and reading this book took me straight back to being in high school. I hated reading the bullying scenes, some of them made me feel incredibly sick, especially once I knew what Juliet’s intentions were. Before I Fall really hit home just how awful and nasty bullying is, and how what one person views as a harmless joke can actually hurt a person enough for them to want to hurt themselves.I thought that Lindsay was probably the worst character that I’ve read about, with exactly how bitchy she was and how she didn’t honestly care if she made people miserable, so long as she was on top. I’m pretty sure that we all know a Lindsay from our past (or maybe even our present), but reading about her made me realise just how insecure she actually was. Which made me question a lot. (I won’t go into details of it, because we’ll have a full-blown novel on our hands!) I’m pleased that bitchy Sam called her out on her behaviour, and that seventh-day Sam did so as well. I like to think that maybe Lindsay turned into a better person because of it.I need to talk about Kent. Oh my goodness. Words can’t express my feelings over his character, because I just feel so many different things for him! His love for Sam was so incredible, and I just wish that she’d have seen it earlier, instead of getting involved with Rob, who was a complete and utter prat. If I could have changed anything about Before I Fall, it would have been for Kent to have gotten a happily ever after. Out of all the characters in the book, he truly deserved one.I was worried when I started reading Before I Fall over whether it would get boring reading about the same day seven times over, and whilst some conversations got a little repetitive, the days mostly changed just enough to keep things interesting, and Lauren Oliver’s writing style really helped me to keep the pages turning, as did the mystery that was unfolding in the book.Before I Fall is a definite five-star read for me, but it could have so easily been a one-star too. I have so many questions that I wish had answers about all these characters, but they will just have to remain unanswered. Packed with beautiful prose and a compelling tale, Before I Fall was a true delight to read, and has earned itself a solid spot on my top reads of 2013.