Friday, July 15, 2011

Review - Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall (Amazon)
            Author: Lauren Oliver
            Publisher: HarperCollins
            Release Date: 2010
            Pages: 470
            Genre: YA
            Source: Library

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? 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. (Goodreads) 

 Kim’s Take:

 I really loved this book! It was such a great story that really makes you think about your own life and how  even the small things you do can greatly affect the lives of others.

Samantha (Sam) Kingston is 16 and seems to have it all. She has her friends, popularity, and a hot boyfriend. From the very beginning of the book I sensed a little underlying dissatisfaction with her life. The first part of the book really reminded me a lot of the movie Mean Girls. She and her friends are quite mean and bullying, believing they are better than everyone else, and seem to feel that popularity is everything and have no remorse in the pain they cause fellow students.

The book begins with a regular school morning and plans to go to a party that evening. That is where a tragic event occurs that will change Sam’s “life” forever. When she wakes in the morning, she finds it is the same day as the previous one all over again. She is very confused and remembers the events of the previous evening when she was in a terrible accident. Was it just a bad dream? It takes her a while to understand what is happening but upon waking the next morning to the same day, once again, she can no longer deny what is happening. The dream is reality and she is dead.

Sam begins to realize how wrong her ideas and behavior had been, and the consequences of both on others. She also discovers secrets regarding her best friend, Lindsey, and Lindsey’s past with Juliet Sykes, a main target of their bullying. Sam begins to do things she never would have done, knowing it will not matter the next day because the day will only start over and others will have no recollection of what had happened. Sam begins to become more aware of the feelings and lives of those they have bullied in the past and attempts to make changes to those relationships.  

She begins to realize her boyfriend is not who she made herself believe he was and slowly over the course of her repeating days begins to realize the real meaning of love and who holds the key to her happiness. She begins to understand she has taken everyday moments for granted.

Sam comes to determine that she must right the wrongs of that tragic evening and finally discovers what she must do save others that night and repair the hateful feelings many of her fellow students have towards her before her time is up and she can move on.

The book really makes you think about what people will remember you for if you were to die tomorrow. It makes you think about the relationships you have with people and what is really important in life.

This was such an amazing novel by Lauren Oliver, and such a thought provoking story. I couldn’t recommend this book more highly. A must read!
Kim’s Rating: 5/5


  1. I've had this one sitting on my shelves for ages now! I really need to get round to reading it. I've read so many great things and I absolutely loved Lauren Oliver's beautiful prose in Delirium.

    Great review (as always :))

    Have a great weekend

  2. Loved this review! I had no idea the day repeats itself. I have this book on shelf to read. I must grab it!

  3. I thought this was a great book as well. The beginning really turned me off at first but once I got a few chapters in I really started to enjoy the idea and the writing. Fab review!

  4. Great review, like the two readers idea. This really is a special book, like Khadija says, the beginning is not immediately appealing, she's just too much of a b. But obvs her transformation is the story, and once it starts happening, it's really a powerful experience, not just a story. Also the writing is so poetic, it's really almost dreamlike. You will cry when it's over, believe me, it's that affecting.

  5. I think I had this one at some point but gave it to someone else because I just never got around to read it, though you make it sound like a really good story.

    I'm going to try to figure out whom I gave it to, see if they will let me borrow it.

  6. Great review, Kim! I've been really wanting to read this one. Ms. Oliver sounds like a fantastic author! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Yay, I'm so glad to see you enjoyed this one, as it's one of my favorite books in the world. I also agree with you on how it makes you think- Oliver's books are always good for that.

  8. Agreed! This is such an amazing and powerful book! I loved watching the character growth! This is one I definitely want to reread soon!