Let me start off by saying that this book took me FOREVER to read. I started reading this book back in May and I only just finished it (November). Why it took me so long? Because I had a huge problem with the characters. They were self-centered, uncaring, egotistical jerks and I just could not put up with that. They made a comment about handicapped people and I nearly lost it. After reading that part, I had to put this book aside for a while until I was ready for it. Only recently did I pick this back up and went through it. Still took me a while but I finally finished it and... it was alright.
As I said, I didn't really like the characters. Especially the main character, Sam. She was so conceited and treated everyone so horribly that I just wanted to punch her in the face. The way she thought of herself so high-and-mighty got on my nerves so many times, I can't even tell you. Now, I understand that this book is about her growth from a horrible person to a better one but it wasn't until the very end of the book that she shows any improvements. That was a bit too long for my liking. That's not to say I didn't appreciate when she DID change... I just wish it wasn't until the end because we didn't get to see her as a truly changed person until the end. I wanted to enjoy it for a bit longer since I spent the entire book wanting to knock her teeth out. She was the main reason why I couldn't enjoy this book to its fullest. Not that her friends were any better. In fact, there weren't that many characters that I enjoyed in this book and, to me, that's a BIG disappointment. I am a person who love characters. I read a book for the story but I stick around for the characters. I love connecting with them. I love understanding them. I love being able to look inside their heads and grasping at why they do the things they do. However, I didn't really like any of the characters in this book except for two (more on them later) and that's why I didn't enjoy this as much.
Everything else about the book was fine. I love the plot! This seemingly never-ending loop of the last day being alive is so fascinating to me. I enjoyed it a lot. The writing was beautiful! Lauren Oliver can string words together so intricately; it makes you envision what's being said in the story perfectly. And it's not like I hated ALL of the characters. There's Kent who was just so sweet and charming. He really brought this softness to the book that wouldn't have been there otherwise. Then there's Juliet Sykes... a character very near and dear to my heart. Mostly because I can identify myself with her in a lot of ways. She was tormented, broken, and disconnected from her surroundings... her character was truly heartbreaking but I loved her all the more for it. I'm telling you, Oliver, when she wants you to feel a certain emotion, she can make you feel that emotion.
As I've said, this is not my favorite book. I was thrown-off quite a few times by the main characters. However, she does grow and for that I am grateful. I think this book is a good read if you want to read something different and if you want to see what it's like to see something from a "bully's" point of view. It's a simple read, albeit a frustrating one, and the writing is simply beautiful. Give it a try. You might like it even better than I did.