The new month brings with it a new format for all of our amazing featured titles; with this new approach, we'll be able to spotlight more books than ever. So please help me celebrate our first title - which was one of my absolute favorites of last year: BEFORE I FALL, by Lauren Oliver!
Here's what School Library Journal had to say about this breathtaking book:
Samantha Kingston has worked her way up the popularity ladder; now a senior, she and her three best friends rule their school. On Cupid Day, Sam expects to receive Valentine roses, to party with her friends, and to finally (maybe) have sex with her equally popular boyfriend. The last thing she expects is that she will die, but in the final moments of her life, as she hears "a horrible, screeching sound—metal on metal, glass shattering, a car folding in two," everything turns to nothing. Only, it is not the end for Sam. She wakes up to start the same day over again, and again; in fact, she relives it seven times....Moving and cathartic.
Just reading the book description gives me the chills!
Lauren was kind enough to offer up some thoughts on this month's theme, "resilience." Here's Lauren:
Hey hey! Lauren Oliver here, author of BEFORE I FALL and the forthcoming DELIRIUM. I’m so psyched to be featured on the awesomeness that is readergirlz. I’m particularly honored to have been selected to participate during a month in which resilience is being celebrated. Resilience—the ability to recover from being wounded, to pick yourself up after stumbling, and to strive constantly for betterment and happiness, no matter how often you are confronted by difficulty and pain—is such a critical quality to cultivate, both in a general Life-Sense and, in particular, for a writer.
Writers, of course, need to be tremendously resilient. So much of the life of a writer is unfortunately about rejection and frustration. Almost every writer can tell you stories about failed novel attempts (I, for example, am now on my FOURTH ATTEMPT to write a particular middle-grade that keeps devolving into nonsense at about word 15,000); and rejected manuscripts; and unhelpful or critical teachers, peers, and sometimes parents. There is the infamous (perhaps apocryphal) story of the , which were allegedly rejected some insane quantity of times before finding a home and changing the landscape of children’s books forever.
You must be resilient as a writer, because as a writer, you will be confronted every day with at least five or six excellent reasons to give up.
More specifically, the theme of resilience plays a big part in Before I Fall. One of the messages I most wanted to convey in my first novel, particularly in the character of Juliet and her developing relationship with Sam, is that it’s important never to give up: not on other people, and certainly not on yourself. No matter how much bleakness and difficulty there is in your life or in the world you are confronting, change is possible, hope is out there, and help will come. As Sam discovers in the book, it is never too late.
So well-put, Lauren, and definitely something I personally responded to when reading BEFORE I FALL. And I can't wait for DELIRIUM!
I love, too, that Lauren mentions resilience as it pertains to the writer's life - I'm sure most of us writer-types would agree that without resilience, very few books would ever see the light of day!
Thanks for joining us, Lauren! And now, we want to hear from you - how has resilience helped you in your life? Maybe like Sam, you've reached out to a friend even after a fight or fallout that seemed hopeless? Or maybe it's simply a case of pursuing your passion in the face of lousy odds, heavy competition, or the fear of rejection? Resilience is what keeps us moving forward!