Public Service Announcement: Life Lessons #1
When bored at the end of the day, but feeling as if it is still too early to go to sleep, I would recommend not picking up a book to read. Especially if you have the habit of reading a book from start to finish in one setting. And have had this habit your whole life. Trust me, the fact that you start work a whole thirty minutes later than usual the next day? yeah, that won’t help. And, really, you’ll have to make an even bigger fool of yourself than usual in order to be an effective employee and not fall asleep in your rice.
Also, if you insist on doing this, it’s probably not the best idea to read a depressing book. A heavy book. Because then it’s all you’re going to think about the next day as you’re complaining about how stupid you are. (But it’s also not complaining. It’s gushing about a book. This book.)
Moral of the story: if you enjoy contemporary YA with the slightest tinge of the fantastic, an MC with a real character arc, and you can move past the antagonistic feelings she incites in the beginning, then before i fall, by Lauren Oliver, might be a good choice for you. Be warned, the book is poetic, very think-y, and also uses a lot of stream-of-consiousness.
The Iffy: The present tense, largely from the stream-of-consiousness. Similes/metaphors got a bit heavy handed. The teen speak, for example: “like”, had me wanting to shake the narrator once or twice. Mostly: it took me a long time to get into the book (maybe 150 pages, or a good third) because that “first day” went on for awhile, especially as I found the narrator, her excuses, her antagonism, so damn detestable.
The Fabulous: But in the end, that antagonism allowed for a greater payoff. I really, truly enjoyed the book. While I didn’t like all the secondary characters (except for Kent), I could sympathize/empathize with them. Okay, I don’t think I ever would have liked Sam, maybe not even in the last chapter, but I could certainly respect her. A heckuva lot. And if I ever met Lindsay, I’d probably punch her in the face, but her story was perhaps the most heartbreaking of all*. Even more so than Julie’s or Sam’s.
Fabulous. Go forth and buy, my friends. If you haven’t already.
*Yes, I am able to sympathize with Lindsay’s experience, which is fantastic considering how much I despise her overall. But that in no way ever, ever makes her cowardly actions right. Having a terrible experience (or even the shittiest life on the planet) does not give you the right to be an asshole back.
Lots of jealousy that you’re still in Paris,
PS: Go here and say “OMG, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SOOZ!” to the Sooz. Because you guys are both so awesome it blows my mind, and I think you’d like her recent Steampunk posts. (WHERE ARE MY SPATS, NIKKI?!)
**Sometimes I write book reviews to my mom or my awesometastic friend Nikki. I thought this one worked better for Nikki, though I actually have no idea if she likes YA contemporary. Do you?