I love [a:Lauren Oliver|2936493|Lauren Oliver|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1291156327p2/2936493.jpg], so since I am completely infatuated with [b:Delirium|11614718|Delirium (Delirium, #1)|Lauren Oliver|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327890411s/11614718.jpg|10342808] and [b:Pandemonium|9593911|Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)|Lauren Oliver|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1310371414s/9593911.jpg|14480923] (and the novellas), I had to read this. As it is her first
This story is about a journey. It reminds me of the stages of grief, as Sam moves through her life over and over again, trying to understand the reasons for her death. She also begins to understand the way she has affected others around her - the whole thing is like watching someone go from disbelief, to anger, to denial, etc. She is not a nice person, although she is not unlikable. I think she is someone that many, many teenage girls will recognize - not just in their school or in passing, but in themselves. It will be a window for some, a mirror for others.
As a parent, I think I saw this girl differently than I otherwise would have. I didn't hate her - actually, I didn't think she was as much a bad guy as her friend Lindsay. I would read along, right there with these girls, and want to smack them. And I wanted to take away Lindsay's car keys!
Some have said that the ending was sad, and it was - one of those typical situations where the author went one way and you wish she'd gone another. I think this happens when someone like Oliver is so talented at wreaking havoc with our emotions.
Oliver's books get better and better, so this is certainly not a waste of time. It's not a quick read for the beach, either, unless you want to spend the rest of your vacation contemplating the effects you've had on others in your life. But it is an emotionally moving story. If you love Lauren Oliver, you've definitely got to read this one.