Well, my friends, here we are at another Tuesday morning talking about another book that isn’t part of my Not Just Jane Reading Challenge.
But before we get to why I’ve fallen off the Austen-wagon (again) and how I’m a few months behind on my reading schedule (again) I’d just like to pause for a moment and point out that I am, for this week at least, more current with my reading list than my movie viewing habits. Thanks to everyone who took a guess about how long it’s been since yesterday’s movie selection was released – would you believe that “Miss Congeniality” is almost 14 years old ?!? It came out in December of 2000.
That makes me feel so much better.
But back to today’s book of choice. I don’t just abandon Jane on purpose, you guys; I just get accidentally sucked into these other worlds that make me stay up past my bedtime and cry while I’m waiting for my ride to Corporate World in the mornings (yes, I’m getting enough sleep and no, I’m not overly identifying with fictional characters – hi, Mom!) “Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver was one of these books. Oh my goodness, I loved this book. The narrator, Samantha, is quick and funny and moody and smart and maybe a little bit mean. In other words, she’s a teenager. But a fully realized, complicated one with a rich inner life, which was surprising and engrossing and wonderful. (See, I told you I loved this book). Here’s your quick spoiler free synopsis:
February 12th – Cupid Day – is popular high school senior Samantha’s favourite day of the year. full of friends and flowers and parties … until she dies in a car crash that night. And then wakes up on the morning of February 12th all over again. Sam lives the last day of her life over seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.
So basically, “Before I Fall” is “Groundhog Day” with hormones and better outfits. I’m being snarky, but it’s not a coincidence that “Groundhog Day” is one of my favourite movies and that this book kept me up at night. I’m fascinated with the idea that our actions can create effects that ripple outward beyond what we can see. There’s a lovely quote in the book that captures that feeling for me (and, yes, makes me all snuffly):
“I think of all the thousands of billions of steps and missteps and chances and coincidences that have brought me here. Brought you here, and it feels like the biggest miracle in the world.”
If you’re interested in steps and missteps and chances and coincidences, I would definitely recommend this book. And Kleenex – I’d recommend Kleenex. Meanwhile, even though I can’t seem to stick to a reading challenge there are some routines that I manage to continue, so I’ll see you back here for Wordful Wednesday tomorrow!