Samantha Kingston has the seemingly perfect life. She’s one of the most popular girls at her high school, and dating the guy any girl would kill to go out with. Waking up on Cupid Day (Feb 12th) is supposed to go like any other ordinary day. Except on this day, Samantha Kingston and her three best friends die in a car crash. In an odd stroke of luck, Samantha is given seven chances to re-live the last day of her life in an attempt to right the wrongs she left behind.
This is one of the best written/best read books I’ve come across in a long, long time. Although it is a teen book, Lauren Oliver has a way with words that just makes you feel like you’re floating through the story, absorbing every detail and description without even realizing it. I think adults will get into this book as much as teens will. My first experience with Oliver was the children’s book Liesl and Po. Her brilliance and writing skill were seeping out of that book, and I am really glad that this book did not disappoint. It’s a very strong testament to her ability to get into the minds of young people and be able to bring it to light without coming across as patronizing or fake.
This book in particular is exceptionally emotional as Sam Kingston re-lives the same day of her death 7 times. I became quite clingy and appreciative of my family and husband over the course of listening to this book on audio. There is nothing like listening to the story of someone lose everything they cherish in life 7 days in a row to really make one appreciate what they have in their own life.
The book is filled with talk of: drinking, sex, drugs, bullying, rumors, suicide and peer pressure. It feels true to high school without trying too hard, or seeming patronizing or scolding. It does a great job of dealing with the realities of not only bullies, but of the friends of bullies who go along with the crowd without exactly knowing why. I think any teens reading this book will find somebody to relate to, whether it’s the bully, bullied, jock or other archetypal figure in high school.
Oh, I have to discuss Sarah Drew. She is an amazing narrator and I feel very spoiled when I listen to her audio books. She was fantastic with giving each character their own voice and personality. It really brought the book alive.