When I was in high school, I read Lauren Oliver’s book Before I Fall and it literally helped change me. At the time I struggled with a lot of anxiety and something about the book really spoke to me. Of course, when I came across another one of Oliver’s novels, I was hoping to be just as impressed and inspired. It was big shoes to fill but Oliver lived up to it.
Nick and Dara have lived their entire lives together and wouldn’t redo a single moment of it. They are sisters, after all, and they are best friends. That is until Dara falls for Parker. And before the accident. And before Madeline Snow went missing. Now, the sisters hardly speak. What would it take to reunite these sisters?
Ugh. That was painful. I have to be so cautious to not give anything away! First of all, this book reads really fast. You will be flipping endlessly. Not only is it engaging, but you can tell there is a mystery. If you really pay attention, you can even begin to catch when characters offer up hints. The ending is a twister, however, and you may not see it coming. Now, I’ll admit, the ending was surprising but it wasn’t like “OMG no author has ever done this before!!” Because been there, read that. BUT, I love Oliver’s insight. I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up. Oliver does what she does best in this novel, which is connecting to real life situations. Making us really think and feel things that we’ve never thought/felt before. It is powerful. I give this book a 4 out of 5. These aren’t characters you will love but it is a story you can feel for and say, “yes, I understand you.” Your heart will ache with this story because Oliver places you right in their shoes.