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Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver My Expectations: Very high. I’m pretty sure everyone’s been somehow affected by the hype surrounding this book. I expect nothing less than getting my mind blown.Delivery: pretty well, it didn’t meet my exceedingly high expectations but a very strong effort. Mind blowing…unfortunately didn’t occur.Put-down-ability: LOW! I read this almost all in one sitting (like 5 hours!) so a 2/10, with a 10 being “get it away” and a 1 being “gimme right NOW”.**My Thoughts:I know that in my Kiss and Tell meme post, I covered this book. I thought it would be a hit-or-miss, I would side with a side and avoid the happy middle…yeah, I guess I was wrong. This book is pretty solidly in the happy middle of my book enjoyment section.I liked this book, there’s no doubt about that. It explored the concepts of death, the connections between actions, redemption, and life in general. It was thoughtful, sad, heartbreaking, snappy, and also hopeful and uplifting, which is a very difficult combination to pull off, so kudos to Oliver.The thing that kept the book from getting a full-on gush review was the pacing and plot. While some people thought the middle days were slower, I actually enjoyed them mostly because Oliver didn’t just change a couple tiny things to see the domino effect. Each day it seemed like Sam had a different outlook, a different way to go about things which kept the plot interesting.It was just that after the fifth day, I was getting bored. I know, that’s never really a good sign. I was just itching for the “meaningful eureka moment” to happen, I was like “hurry up, already!” throughout the later days. That being said, each day was still special and affect Sam.While the repeated days moved smoothly along, I’m not sure I cared for some of the stuff that happened during the day that Sam needed to change. For example, I was indifferent to the Anna thing, and didn’t see its point. Some events were unrelated that left me confused. It felt like the author bit of a bit more than she could chew, trying to balance Sam, her friends, her parents, her sister, boyfriend, love interest, enemies, random girls she barely knows, and the other girl (Juliet) to a point where it all became a bit too much. For example, that whole day with the Pugs just showed up, and then in the following days they were never mentioned.So did I like Sam? Some people think she was an unlikable character, but I personally thought she was strong, well written and very, very well rounded character. I cared about what happened to her, even at the beginning. I disliked her friends though, to be honest. I hated Rob but liked Kent, but disliked the first days of Sam’s attitude towards him.I felt if her friends were so important, they deserved to be fleshed out more. I got Elody and Ally mixed up, like even right now I can’t really distinguish them in my head. What I mean by fleshing them out isn’t revealing their deep dark secrets, just that they could have had more ‘screen time’. At the end though, you can tell why these friends are friends, and they show actual "friend qualities"... so I might have to take back my "I disliked her friends" comment, ya know? But if I ever had a mean friend like Lindsay..I would be eternally stressed.I thought the whole concept related to Juliet (haha, you’ll have to read the book to find out what I mean!) had a strong delivery.Lastly, the writing was flawless. It was fluid, kept me hooked, mirrored the thoughts of Sam perfectly without going overboard, just a stunning debut effort by Lauren Oliver. 4.2/5 – because I thought the book had a great premise, strong (likable? Probably not) characters, impeccable writing, and a good plot. Was it a masterpiece? Ehh, to me, not really. The plot’s pacing towards the end started dragging out, though I appreciated the author’s effort to tackle seven repeating days with twists in each one, I thought the overload of characters and minor storylines did detract from the ‘main thing’ that Sam was learning though. Themes are well represented, and Before I Fall is a thoughtful, entrancing, and gripping book.I would recommend it to people who enjoy contemporary fiction with a not-so-typical protagonist, wickedly awesome writing, and unique storyline. And a cute boy who draws comics, can’t go wrong there ;)