Title // Before I Fall
Author // Lauren Oliver
Pages // 344 pages
Publisher // HarperCollins
Series // None
Release Date // July 2010
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
Before I Fall is a haunting tale of life, loss and moral rights and wrongs. Get ready for an emotional rollercoaster as one popular girl is forced to live out her last day alive multiple times – until she finally takes the right path. Hold onto your tissues, as you’ll shed tears for hours upon hours with this beautiful read.
So many things become beautiful when you really look.
The whole mean girl turned Groundhog Day styled kept the reading alive for me. Sure, it did tend to get a little bit repetitive, but I adored how Lauren Oliver made sure each day Sam did something different until she finally reached her last repeat of the day. This wasn’t a book I read recently. I think I bought this a year after its release and have not forgotten it ever since. I don’t reread books unless I have forgotten every thing about them. So, I find the fact that four or five years later I’m still remembering this book? Well, that’s pretty damn amazing!
Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.
Something that was great to see in a YA book was the realisation that girls are bitchy. There’s this standard that all YA female girls are heroines, perfect and flawless. Or if they do have a flaw, then its usually their naivety or their clumsy nature. Finally, a YA author tackled the idea that sometimes we think we’re perfect, and so we make others feel small to make ourselves feel bigger.
Here’s one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It’s like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there’s no one around to hear it.
You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That’s how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to bust out of orbit, to spin out to a place where no one can touch you. To lose yourself–to get lost.
Or maybe you wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe some of you already know.
To those people, I can only say: I’m sorry.
The ending of Before I Fall was quite frustrating for a reader. However, the writing was flawless, the characters were complex but relatable, and the story plot was explained perfectly. I had zero faults with Before I Fall, except the frustration that this is a standalone novel. Thank you Lauren Oliver for writing such a fantastic book. Five out of five snowflakes.
Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.
Defne @ Creased Book Spines says ” I liked this book, I really did.”
Sarah @ Commas and Ampersands says “Lauren Oliver’s writing is compelling and her ability to create realistic and engaging characters is truly enviable.”
Fran @ Jar of Books says “It did end very well, but there were certain threads of the story that should have been expanded on.”
About Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader.
She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel.
She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.