Tag «Author: Lauren Oliver»

Movie Mondays: Before I Fall

Movie Mondays: On the occasional Monday, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this edition’s offering:

Book: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (2010) | Movie: Before I Fall (2017)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Book Cover | Movie Poster

Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover

thoughts

Before I Fall has been on my TBR list before I even knew what “TBR” meant. It graced every teen “must read list” in 2010 and I’ll admit, it grabbed my attention. But the holds list was super long and it slipped my mind. And then I read her Delirium Series–the inspiration for this blog–and really didn’t like it. So I was hesitant to pick up another Oliver title.

I went into this book with a fresh mind but it was hard.

Sam is everything I detest in a YA contemporary heroine. She’s self-absorbed, lost in her own world and just not that nice of a person. But that’s the whole point of this novel isn’t it? Sam is supposed to learn some life changing lesson and become a better person because of it.

And that happens to a certain extent. She definitely learns some valuable lessons but I’m not sure if I like the motivation for it. For me, Sam never escapes the persona of a selfish girl. Her desire to change comes across as someone who needs to fix things in order to redeem herself as a “nice person”. I guess it just didn’t come across as selfless to me.

As for the novel itself, it wasn’t as repetitive as I expected. Oliver does a good job of not rehashing every moment of every day. She also does a decent job of leading you on a bit of a mystery. Trying to figure out how everything links together kept me interest.

overall

I’ll be honest, I rushed through this book a lot because I had to return it so my experience wasn’t everything it could have been. In the end, I had a hard time liking Sam and that really did colour my impressions of this novel as a whole.

Rating: 3/5

similarreads


Were My Expectations Met?

Considering I wasn’t a huge fan of the novel, I wasn’t really sure how I would enjoy the movie. If I couldn’t stand Sam and her friends just by reading about them, how would I feel was I watched them be awful teenaged girls?

But the movie is really well done. Like the book, you aren’t rewatching scene after scene of the same day. I suppose that is the beauty of films and their ability to have montages 😉

And I will admit, watching Sam’s story here made me slightly more emotional (in a good way) as opposed to the novel where my feelings were more annoyed than empathetic.

How Close is it to the Book?

From what I remember of the book, this was pretty close. And what I think they left out (like the scene with Sam’s teacher, etc.) made the story stronger here. But the root of the story and its message are the same.

I will say, that Sam’s self-realization in the movie seemed a touch more natural to me. I don’t know if that is because you don’t have her internal monologue for the entire story and you only see what is on the surface/what is said. Or perhaps it is because you have a person you can visually see reacting to everything that helps you empathize. However, I still really struggle with the ending overall.

Did I Like the Cast?

The first role I saw Zoey Deutch (Sam) was the TV show The Ringer where she played a similar character to Sam. She’s a great actress who can play more than just a bitchy teenager (she was great as Rose in The Vampire Academy Movie) so I thought she was a great choice for Sam. Like I said above, I really didn’t like Sam in the book but Zoey brought a touch of humanity to Sam here.

The rest of the cast was great as well. I don’t know if I would change anything about the cast.

thewinneriswinmovie

I definitely enjoyed the movie a touch more than the novel. I think not getting Sam’s internal monologue for every scene really helped me focus on the story and the circumstances instead of her petty, selfish observations.

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!


Synopsis for Before I Fall (from Goodreads):

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

Trailer:

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catchphrase

Series Review: Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver

  

Series: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
# of Books: 3 (Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem)

There are also eBook novellas, for the complete reading order of the series click here

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This was one of those series I had a lot of hope for but didn’t quite meet the bar.

I love dystopian fiction and at the time that the first novel, Delirium, had come out, dystopian fiction was just starting to get big. The whole idea that love was a disease that needed to be eradicated seemed very refreshing to me (most dystopian novels I had read all focused on political or personality types as a way to segregate society) so I was definitely interested in. I think that Lauren Oliver excels at creating the setting as a world without love. I like that she transforms Bible passages and other notable works of literature to support the story. There is definite logic to everything and I really appreciate that.

What really killed this series for me was the characters. I found that as each book went on, I lost some of my love for them (no pun intended). Lena never really did anything for me. She was alright in the first book and I liked the character development in the second (Pandemonium) but it was a chore to read about her in book 3, Requiem. I think Hana’s character was a lot more interesting to me and I would have liked to have read more about her at the start (eventually we get more about her later).

Delirium, book 1, was a good book. It hit all the requirements for an enjoyable read despite my lack of love for Lena. I think I enjoyed it more for the world it created than the actual plot (though it definitely picked up at the end of the book).

I was really excited to read book 2, Pandemonium and I would say that this is my favourite book out of the series. Oliver in the 2nd book changes how the POV of the book is written so that took me a bit to get into it (though I can respect the approach) but once I got over that, I really got into the plot twists. While I didn’t appreciate some of the directions the book went into, it set up a lot of awesome storylines that I was eagerly awaiting to see concluded in Requiem.

Unfortunately, Requiem was a complete let down for me. Despite being super excited to read it, it took two solid attempts to actually finish it. I was so disappointed in this book. I just felt like there was a lot of opportunity given what happened in Pandemonium and it was truly wasted. The story was dull and I pretty much skimmed the last few pages just so I could see how it ended. I don’t want to continue ranting, but this book was an unsatisfactory ending to a series that was building itself up for a spectacular ending.

When I finished reading book 3, Requiem, it was just around the time that FOX had announced they were making the book series into a TV show. I seriously doubt that the author ended the book the way she did because of the TV show (I think she was trying to get another point across with how she ended it), but I am hoping that the TV series has a bit more closure to it than the novels did. Turns out FOX is not moving forward with their TV plans for this series and I think that is wise. Check out a few minutes from the unaired show here.

Conclusion:

This series is a prime example of why I created this blog: to save people from devoting their time to a series that they will more than likely be disappointed in how it ends. This series might be worth it for some people, but I would recommend other dystopian reads before this one.

Rating: 3/5

Similar ReadsThe Pledge by Kimberly Derting (The Pledge Trilogy #1) and Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Delirium (from Goodreads):
They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.

Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.