Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I have mixed feelings on this book. I felt the ending fit, and although I found myself hoping it wouldn’t end the way it did, I can understand why it happened that way.

When I started reading I found it hard to believe that Sam could be redeemed. Her character just seemed too lost in herself to actually learn anything from what happens to her. In fact, she even gets worse at one point. But somehow, Oliver was able to write the change in Sam so well, it fit and didn’t seem forced at all. I had completely changed how I felt about Sam, and was deeply touched by the ending.

I was also impressed that Oliver wrote the ending the book deserved and needed, instead of the one people would have wanted. I will gladly read anything else Oliver writes, if she continues to write the story she wants to tell, and not the stories other want her to write.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

This book really moved me. It’s all about Mia’s decision to stay on Earth, or pass on into whatever the afterlife is with her family. It’s extremely moving and compelling.

It starts by showing Mia and her family just being a family. They are happy and things are going well for them. They go on a drive, and during that drive, they crash. Mia suddenly is viewing herself as a separate entity. She learns of her brother’s death, and knows she is the only surviving member of her family.

She watches as the people that love her try and convince her to stay, all the while she leans towards going with her family. After all, there isn’t much left for her on Earth now. Ultimately, her boyfriend’s plea, that he wants her to stay, even if it means he never sees her again, that makes her chose to live.

It was a book the moved me to tears, and stayed with me for days after I finished. It is definitely a must read.