Dear Lauren Oliver I hate you. Kidding!!! But seriously, I envy your work. As most readers of YA out there would know, Lauren Oliver is the lovely author behind Before I fall and Delirium.
With an extremely expressive turn of phrase, her novels are beautifully captivating and entrancing. One moment, the first page is flipped, the next, you cannot believe it’s finished!
I remember the first time I ever picked up one of her books. I’ll tell you it was Delirium and after Matched by Ally Condie (Not that it was bad, but really, it was a slight bit of drag that felt really dense in the process, and the only bit of action occurred right at the end – But even so, Matched was still a worthy read! – once you get through the denseness of the first 2/3), and I was not really ready for another dystopian focused on ‘love’, because really in the end they’d all be the same. Buuuuutttttt!
As always, the word to use when there is an additional condition to add; but, I prided myself as a reader (and writer – hopefully in the future – professional author – but that’ll be some time yet, I think) not to judge a book until I’ve read. And with that kind of reading, and impulsive desire, I ended up reserving four hundred and eighty paged mass paperback at my local library.
And Bloody Hell! I was seriously blown away. I’ll I expected as much with the plot and the characters, they were, impressive and unimpressive at the same time. I both loved and hated them. But my biggest shock of all, and the reason why now I can say I absolutely, unbelievably adore her writing, was that Oliver completely caught me, hook, line and sinker, with that ‘voice’ of hers. I was completely drawn in by her writing. There was absolutely no holding back with her. Absolutely none!
But you know–and I don’t know about anyone else, but I do about myself–when I find an author who can write so well and make such an impact on me, I have to go find out if he/she’s written anything else. It would be a a shame if I didn’t!
So I looked Ms Lauren Oliver up and wha-la, yes, she had written one other book at that point in time. And that book was Before I fall. Now I love books about people dying and generally they go back on their life (such as Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom), see if they could change something, or understand some aspect of themselves that they couldn’t understand before. I don’t know why, but I do. And so I picked it up with no qualms, unlike the ones I had for Delirium.
And I loved it. I didn’t know that I would, but I did. Before I fall was even more emotive and earth-shaking than Delirium, and seriously, I really hate it when books make me cry. I hate it because crying is messy and dramatic and really cliched, but Before I Fall was just too good. I was absorbed by the protagonist’s voice, so much that I very nearly cried–I managed not to, since I’ve learned to hold my tears, but if I hadn’t that special skill, I would have been bawling!
Believe me when I say the protagonist of Before I fall was dislikable to the hilt! She was bitchy and mean, and totally popular all over, and yet, Oliver portrayed such a dislikable character with such a likable and related voice that the reader, in the should not be able to resist falling in love with her!
Ms Oliver, you are amazing. Seven hundred and fifty cheers for you for bringing to this world, and to me, your beautiful, beautiful worlds. Thank you for amazing writing. I look up to you with the same kinds of eyes my friends had when they teased me about being their nerdy hero (I was quite smart in highschool ;p). So thank you. I just love, love, love your writing.
Nina at Wordsthatflowlikewater!