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Fixing fatal mistakes at your library

Rebecca Kane
special to the daily

We’ve all made mistakes. As teens, most of us had our share of them. Some of us had moments of sheer stupidity, resulting in punishment of a mere slap on the wrist, while others might not have been so lucky – suffering life-long repercussions over one brief lapse of judgment, resulting in consequences beyond repair. For the latter, what if you were given the opportunity to relive that moment? Would you change or try to fix things to make the end result different?

In the book “Before I Fall,” the main character, Samantha Kingston, is killed in a car wreck after a wild, drunken filled evening of partying with her friends. Don’t worry – I am not giving away the story – for this is only the beginning. The next morning Samantha wakes up to discover that, not only is she alive, but that it is the morning before her death. She has been given another opportunity to fix the day. She doesn’t get it right the first time, but she is given another chance – seven chances to be exact.

With each new morning, Samantha begins the journey of reinventing herself. She recognizes that, as a spoiled, mean-spirited, popular girl who surrounds herself with self-centered friends, perhaps she has missed a chance at real happiness. Suddenly, a boy, who always stood on the sidelines of her clique, now seems genuine and unique. One of the seven days she devotes to repairing the broken relationship she has with her sister and her mother. On another day, she acts out on a crush she has on her hot high school teacher, having an affair with him – an experience she later discovers to be horribly revolting. As Samantha relives every day, she also comes closer to unraveling the mystery behind her best friend’s ruthless bullying of a suicidal student. It is not until the last moment that Samantha discovers the cause of the accident and what her best friend screams right before impact.

The suspense escalates, as each new day Samantha makes decisions and changes that ultimately lead to one final ending. Will she save her own life?

Written in a powerfully convincing teen voice, you can find Lauren Oliver’s soon to be classic young adult book on the shelves of Summit County’s libraries. It will surely join the ranks of other young adult jewels, such as “Twilight” and “Harry Potter,” as compelling to many adult readers as to teens.


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