Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
This YA novel has been out for a few years, but I just picked it up a few days ago. It started out slow--intentionally, I'm sure of it. I was thinking, "Oh, no, not another one about rich white girls with boy and popularity struggles, not to mention the drinking, the smoking weed. And gaa, throw in a gratuitous car accident."
But by the middle, the top of my head had lifted off. By the end, I was crying, but also cheering.
She hoodwinked me with the opening! And if she hoodwinked me, she hoodwinked sooooo many YA readers whose attitudes and outlooks have to be improved by this oh-so-not-heavy-handed but incredibly compelling narrative.
And isn't that the point? To make the world a better place? While leaving some gorgeous lyrical prose?
I can't believe I missed this brilliant debut when it came out. I really have to start paying more attention to my daughter Annie Stone's recommendations.
Her most recent rec? All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
I just put it on reserve today.