I loved this book!
This is a story about Sam, an eighteen year old girl who is amongst the popular crowd at school. She’s the girl with a perfect life, perfect friends and a perfect boyfriend. I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that at the start of the book Sam dies in an accident whilst returning home from a party. However, the next day she wakes up again to relive the same day over. And so starts the story of Sam reliving the day of her death over and over until she comes to the realisation of what she has to do to break the cycle.
I finished this book last night – after reading it in two days, and didn’t want to write anything about it at first because I was a bit overwhelmed. I think this book is so well written. LO has done an amazing job getting into the hearts and minds of these teenagers. Their hopes and fears, their meanness to each other, their way of thinking and speaking. There are genuinley funny moments countered by very sad and touching ones. It’s just really moving watching Sam change over the course of the week as she watches how the smallest change in her day can have a major impact on the other people around her. Contrary to many people I actually didn’t strongly dislike Sam, even at the start of the story. She always came over to me as someone who is not completely happy with her own choices but she’s basically been living like that for so long that she’s forgotten how to be any different. Her and her friends are the popular girls of the school which basically means they are incredibly mean, shallow and self centred – and obviously gorgeous with bodies to die for that they know how to dress! B ut, even reading Day 1 there are small points where you can see that Sam is not totally all that she seems in fact she stills seems bewildered that she is part of the ‘popular’ crew at all. In fact Sam’s friends (and boyfriend) are also not how they seem – facts that she will discover during the course of the week.
Basically the book is a bit of a cross between Groundhog Day and Mean Girls but I love the concept of it. I love the idea that Sam has the chance to go back to that day and do something different to change the lives of the other people in the story. I also found it really touching to watch her as she came to realise that she’d never see her family again (except on this one day of course) and never get to watch her sister get older. I liked the way that in spite of her friend’s (and her own) faults she realised that she genuinley loved them. And, I really found myself caring about Sam and how her story would end. I also felt so sad for her family, waking up each day and getting on with their daily lives with no idea that Sam was replaying the day of her death.
To me, this story was about a number of things. Living life fully every day because you don’t get the chance to do it again. Being conscious of your actions and how they affect others and remaining true to yourself.
The ending of the book is bittersweet but I think it’s the most fitting way that it could end really.
I really enjoyed this book and would have no hesitation in recommending it to others – although in tems of the YA audience there are references to drugs, sex and alcohol.