They say ‘live every day as if it’s your last’—but you never actually think it’s going to be. At least I didn’t.
The thing is, you don’t get to know when it happens. You don’t remember to tell your family that you love them or—in my case—remember to say goodbye to them at all.
But what if, like me, you could live your last day over and over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have no regrets? Or are there some things you’d want to change…?
Before I Fall begins with the main character, Sam, telling the reader that she is dead. She then proceeds to narrate her final day of life, and the seemingly random events that culminated in her tragic death at the age of seventeen. However, the day that she dies is not Sam’s final day, as she is forced to relive the day over and over again, with no idea why or what is happening. But Lauren Oliver makes it clear that there is something Sam must do, something she must understand, before her endless last day will stop repeating.
Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.
Oliver’s novel is beautiful, poignant and utterly captivating. I picked it up for something to fill my day with and just about devoured it in one setting. Sam’s story is one that will stay with you, well beyond the final pages.
(MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!)
The U.S. cover
For it has been many years since she left the place where her hands were crippled by a fire – years in which she has nurtured her special talent with animals.
Sevenwaters is also much changed. It is now enslaved by the fey prince Mac Dara, a force of malignant magic who is responsible for a party of travellers disappearing. When Maeve discovers the body of one of the missing men, she and her brother Finbar are lured to the Otherworld on a journey that may save Sevenwaters… or lead to catastrophe.
If Maeve is ever to dream of a future, she must confront the darkness of her past.
The first thing I have to say about this book is that I don’t love the blurb… This is truly a fantastic novel, and I just don’t think that the blurb does it justice. Personally, if I was unsure of Juliet Marillier, if I didn’t already know that I have loved every single one of her books, I might not have picked this up. As it was, I pre-ordered the American edition, just because I
couldn’t didn’t want to wait the extra month for the Australian edition. And I’m glad that I didn’t wait.
Flame of Sevenwaters was everything I expected, and so much more.
I haven’t managed to do too much reading lately – life has been very busy with the approach of Christmas and lots of work. In exciting news, I have managed to get a job for the upcoming school year – I will be working in a school as a teacher-librarian! Just what I was hoping for! 😀 😀 😀
A side-effect of this is that I have been given a pretty long recommended reading list, full of stories that young adults like to read. I had to laugh when I saw that I had already read quite a few of the recommended authors – my enjoyment of YA literature is definitely coming in handy! The best of the recommended YA books I have read so far is definitely Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen. The novel has some great characterisations, and dealt with some sensitive issues in a delicate yet realistic manner. More on the novel below.
Coming up, my reviews of Juliet Marillier’s latest release, Flame of Sevenwaters, and the (auto)biography of John Barrowman, Anything Goes.
Featured this month:
- Contest – Matthew Reilly
- Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight – Nick Earl and Rebecca Sparrow
- Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
- Crow Country – Kate Constable
- The Body in the Fog – Cora Harrison
There is something about finding a fandom. A fandom is like a home, for us nerdy folks. A fandom is somewhere you belong, a place that exists where you can share your love for something with others who love it too.
HP fanart by MARTA
For years now, I have ‘belonged’ within the Harry Potter fandom. Harry Potter is a very large part of the reason why my best friend and I ever became friends. It has been something to bond over, something to laugh and cry over. We have read and written fanfiction, ‘awwwww’d and drooled over fanart, and attended the midnight screenings of the last two films.
All of this has cemented our friendship. It has ensured that we always have that special something between us that makes us who we are, that makes us us. Naturally, there are other things now which keep us together. Other pleasures, loves, and hates. Other fandoms, other stories to laugh and cry over. But Harry Potter was the first thing. And we always have it to come back to.
My point has wandered somewhat, but it all comes back to the same thing. I have been contemplating the power of fandoms. The ability of a fandom to share a love of something, to make that thing grow beyond what it originally was. I am talking about fanfiction and fanart, but also about the sharing that exists within a fandom. This has been increasingly emphasised to me through tumblr, where fans blog and reblog the words and images that they love about a particular fandom.
The ability to do this keeps the fandom alive within their minds, and their hearts. The fact is that I never really loved Harry Potter until I was introduced to the Harry Potter fandom. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books. The Harry Potter fandom made me love them.