Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, young adult
With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today’s foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person’s life can affect so many others.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.
Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.
Source: School library
How I Found Out About It: Goodreads
I have given Lauren Oliver lots of chances with her books, as this is my 5th instalment of hers that I’ve read. Her Delirium trilogy was mostly entertaining, but Panic was simply blah, so especially since a movie is about to come out for Before I Fall, I wanted to check it out and see where I stand overall with Oliver’s books.
Okay, to be completely honest here, I didn’t LOVE this book, nor did I dislike it. I just thought it got pretty slow at times, as the same day repeated and repeated itself in seven different ways. Admittedly, I did get bored a lot while reading, but there are definitely some other factors that made me like this book, as well.
To synopsize, this story revolves around Samantha, who dies in an accident one night. Normally, that would be that and her life would be over, but instead, she wakes up the next morning for it to be the same day as before, and this happens seven times. Through all these last chances, Samantha gets to change her actions once and for all and end her life satisfied.
For me, the only memorable character in this book was the protagonist, Samantha. I found her to be okay, but just okay. She wasn’t the most likeable of characters; boasting a mean, stuck-up attitude and stubbornness. Samantha made many decisions that I wasn’t really fond of– WHY, just WHY did she get herself into that same situation seven times? She took AP classes, so I think she could’ve been much smarter than that. By the end of the book, though, I do think she learns from all those mistakes, which was good.
The premise of this book was amazing in that the main character experienced the last day of her life many times, but as I said before, at times it tended to get a bit annoying and redundant. By the end, I simply just got tired of it. The super long chapters didn’t really make much better, either.
I did appreciate the morals of this story, though, and I believe that they are what makes this story the valued gem it is with many. Before I Fall really shows that you must always think before you speak and act, as anything you do or say right now could lead you to your future. Say something mean now, and it could come back to haunt you in a year. On the contrary, do something super nice now, and you’ll forever be remembered for your kindness.
Overall, this book wasn’t the best of reads, but I think I can safely say that I’ve read worse. I am definitely still looking forward to seeing the movie and comparing it to the book. So, if you’re looking for a coming-of-age book to read before a movie comes out and don’t mind an annoying protagonist, then be sure to read this book before you fall!😉