What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death - and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
©2010 Lauren Oliver (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
"Oliver, in a pitch-perfect teen voice, explores the power we have to affect the people around us in this intensely believable first novel...This is a compelling book with a powerful message and should not be missed." (Booklist)
Yes. I enjoyed the performance.
I was moved by Sam's transformation.
Very entertaining. Her performance added so much to the story!
I thought the ending was sad, but great!
This is a young adult novel. There are mentions of sex and some extreme partying (the high-schoolers drink and smoke pot A LOT), plus references to rape and suicide. That is, this might not be for the 11-year-old reader.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. The premise is similar to the film Groundhog Day-- a self-absorbed protagonist is forced to live the same day over and over, learning lessons each time. I was kind of impressed at the risk the author took, not so much for the repetition of plot events (necessary of course for the overall thematic purpose), but for having really unlikeable "mean girls" as the main characters. Don't let that discourage you-- the author deepens the understanding of their personalities as the book goes on. I never did quite distinguish the two minor friends in the clique (never name similar characters with similar names :), but the protagonist and her best friend were sharply limned and boldly individualized.
I was expecting more of a "wow" ending, and was a bit disappointed by the soft-focus epilogue which didn't really answer the questions the story had set up. But I was really fascinated by the gritty exploration of life in a small high school and within the "in-group" of popular kids and what distinguishes them from everyone else. Well done and scary, and boy, am I glad I graduated and never looked back!
NOTE: I listened to the audio book from audible.com. I didn't think I'd like the narrator because she sounded so young at first, but she was very good at doing the voices of the different kids, and at conveying emotion, so I ended up really enjoying her narration.
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I have listened to it more than once and each time I marvel at how the author created a caste of seemingly shallow characters who are so caught up in their self-centered lives until a strange reoccuring day causes one of them to reassess her choices. It's a wonderful, somewhat predictable novel but it is beautiful in its tragedy.
My favorite character is Kent because my heart broke for him. He is Sam's true hero...a sweet and clear character who has always loved Sam but because she needs a 'cool' boyfriend to fit in with her friends and the popular cliche, she fails to take notice of him until it is too late. He is literally there for her but as fate would have it, he is now beyond her grasp. Kent is one of Sam's lessons, which she gained only after loss.
Sarah Drew's youthful voice was perfect as I was able to perfectly picture a bitchie, spoiled teenager.
It was touching when Sam was thoughtful and when she went through all her 'lasts'. In the end she hugs her little sister for the last time...the last words she says to her parents, etc. This causes the reader/listener to think about what might be our 'lasts' if we were put into Sam's shoes and we knew that certain actions would be our 'lasts'. If we were given a second chance what might we do differently? What would we notice the second time around and what mistakes might we correct?
I listened to this book for book club and was pleasantly surprised. The writing is just beautiful. Oliver is very talented and I look forward to downloading another of her books. The narrator does an excellent job and I am glad that I listened to this book rather than reading it. While I didn't have a high school experience anything like this, I could relate to several of the social problems that exist in the teenage world. I thought I had this book all figured out within the first hour, but I am glad to say I was wrong. I loved the way the author weaves the story with new bits of information and insight as she goes along. I love the humanness of the characters- while I wanted to hate the mean girls and pity the picked on ones, Oliver helps you to have understanding and empathy for why people act the way they do. It was heartbreaking and lovely all at the same time and it made my yard work go by much faster. It is definitely not just a YA book- everyone can remember high school and relate.
Absolutely, in fact I might listen to it again! I think the author did a great job realistically capturing teenage girls and the highschool experience (she didn't censor it too much for the YA audience), and the narrator did an excellent job conveying the emotions in the main character's internal dialouge. I suggest the audiobook over the print copy for this very reason, you can really get a sense of what Sam is feeling through Sarah's narration of her.
Sam, our main character. Sarah Drew did a wonderful job with her. Many of the other voices seemed a bit "over acted," but I realize she was just attempting to make a ton of teenage girls sound different somehow, so it didn't bother me much. I also loved Kent, but not necessarily because of the narration.
Yes, at the end. The ending to this book tore me up, and it didn't end how I had hoped. But it was still a really great ending and I am glad that the author chose to finish the book so powerfully.
A very great choice for an audio book! It is interesting right from the start and was very enjoyable. It didn't feel like an immature young adult book, which I really appreciated because I have sort of a love/hate with YAs.
It was a lot like 'Mean Girls" meets "Groundhog Day" like other listeners have said, but it didn't feel like she "knocked off" either of these stories. The fact that she dies right in the beginning makes the story unique.
Love to read, and now Love to Listen!
As an adult it was downloaded as a light listen, but it did grow on me. I was strongly hoping for certain outcomes by the end of the book based on my like/dislike of the characters. I was actually sad when it was over as by that point I wanted more! I loved the narrator's voice and her ability to change the tone to distinguish between the characters. It did take a bit to get used to but once again it grew on me. I will certainly be checking out her other books, I liked the writer's style and I feel that her writing transcends age.
I read a lot--all sorts of different things--but rarely does a book make me fall in love. This one did and has stuck with me long after. I recommend it to anyone I think might give it a shot. I remember loving the premise and seeing it described as starting out as Mean Girls meets Groundhog's Day, but that it had surprising depth. That was a pretty apt description. This book had aspects of fun and kept you reading in part because of the tension inherent in the main character attempting to figure out why she was reliving the days and what she was supposed to do to stop it. One aspect I loved is that usually in those types of situations, it's usually obvious to the reader what the main character is supposed to do, but it takes them the whole book to finally get there, so it's predictable. But in this book, she doesn't wait until the end to get to that place, and when it doesn't work, it makes everything unpredictable, throwing the reader into a place where they don't know what the "key" to making the repetition stop either.
I also loved that every day she relived, her different choices became a butterfly effect, so even when some of the initial choices she makes are ones you've been waiting for, the effects are surprising. I find myself able to predict most books fairly well, but this one always kept me moving forward into mystery, which I LOVED.
Then there was the emotional depth, which made it truly memorable. It went to a surprisingly powerful place, posing big questions without ever having to even ask them on the surface.
Perhaps my favorite aspect, however, was how the lessons the author pulls from the experience are not the ones you'd necessarily expect. They're complex and show things aren't just black and white. I love when authors don't fall back on easy morals and themes, and no character ended up being 2-dimensional, no character ended up being pure anything (bad, good, victim, etc.). It left me feeling like I'd read something very real instead of something meant to teach a lesson.
One last note, because it's an important one for any audiobook--the narrator was PERFECT for this story. There was a brief moment with two teacher characters where I thought she went a little overboard on the voices, but then, it almost felt like it was the main character mocking them (and it was very brief), so it ended up okay. Other than that, I thought Sarah Drew brought an incredible amount of life and vulnerability to the story. I don't know if I would have enjoyed it as much reading it in book form, but I'm glad my first introduction to it was in audiobook form.
I hope everyone else who reads this enjoys it as much as I did!
This was a book I had purchased, but had put off listening to. I tried a couple of times, and was not immediately engaged, so I'd always switch to something else. However, once I truly gave the book a shot, I LOVED it! Kept me up late at night. So good.
A hopeless audiophile with my books with me wherever i go! Dystopia - paranormal romance - and even some erotica - I'm over 50 - not Dead!
I hated this book! I really did for about the first third! I found myself captivated and yet unable to disengage as I relived some of the worst years of my life! Despite the horror of my 30something year old memories being brought back as if yesterday, I couldn't stop listening - totally captivated by the insight's into the mind of one of 'them' - those perfect popular girls in High School I suffered under - and wanted so badly to be. I was, as it was so aptly described at one point, one of the 'have nots', one of the victims of the harsh injustices of the teen years.
I had downloaded this book as it was by the same author as Delirium, which was good enough for me. I didn't look at any of the reviews until it was too late and my mind had already been transported backwards in time, and i was trying to get my head wrapped around why the book at been so well rated with leading characters who were so blatantly anti-role-model types. The cruelty, prejudice, judgemental behaviour, and flagrant disregard for authority the girls displayed seemed so counter to what I've become accustomed to in the female heroines in teen reads. I went to the reviews - and found that redemption was on the horizon....
And then She woke up - again on the same day, and her world and perspectives and life started changing.
I have not finished the book yet - so i'm not sure where it's all going. There've been a few surprises along the way, both good and bad, a testament I think to the Lauren Oliver's ability to craft her world, and bring the reader (listener) wholely into it! There've been smiles, and laughter, and yes, tears, and I expect there will be more before I'm done.
This was not a wasted credit as I'd first feared!
The reader does go a little fast once in a while - but then again - so does life, and yes, so do teenaged girls!
I was really suprised how good this book is. I only bought it because it was on sale and I wanted something to listen too during a recent trip I took. The story and the characters are amazing. I couldn't stop listening.
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