Friday, February 19, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-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 had ever imagined.

As you all know, I had big big expectations for Before I Fall. It did not disappoint.

Before I Fall is beautifully written, touching and realistic. After I finished reading it (at five in the morning because I had to finish this 480 pg book in one sitting!) I wanted to check out some other reviews before posting mine. And I seem to be in the minority here, but I did not hate Sam or her friends at first, as so many others have. Yes, it's true, Sam and her friends are not very nice in the beginning, but right away I found their friendship with one another to be a great redeeming factor.

The friendship between the girls is very realistic-- their interactions, the way they talk to each other. How close they are and how much they love one another makes them more likable. Even when we learn just how cruel Sam's friend Lindsay can be, we care about her because, despite her flaws, Sam still loves her. And even in the end, when Sam has re-evaluated her relationships with people and is seeing her boyfriend and her nerdy former friend differently, Sam still loves her three best friends immensely.

Like I already mentioned, this book kept me up until dawn. (Okay, I did make the mistake of starting it at 11 p.m.) The tension throughout is so gripping, you have to keep reading. When you're not wondering what Sam will do on the next repeated day, you're compelled to rip through the book because you need to find out: What happens to Sam in the end?

And of course, the ending to the story is amazing. It shows just how much Sam has grown and matured as she learns what really matters, and the choices she makes in the end are so different from what she would have done in the beginning.

I will admit, when I read the last page my initial reaction was disappointment. That's it? That's what happens? There's no more? BUT by the time I closed the book and set it down, my opinion had already changed. The ending truly is perfect. It's exactly what should have happened, and it makes the book that much better. It gives the book more weight, more relevance. It's the perfect ending to a book that is guaranteed to stick with you, long after you've set it down.

Before I Fall is not a book you want to miss. It comes out on March 2, and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to read it before then. Lauren Oliver has really created something special here.

Not yet convinced? You can read the first 100 pages or so on the HarperTeen site RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE.


  1. It sounds like it would be worth taking a look. I'll have to check that book out.

  2. Great review! I want to read it!

  3. I'm sooo looking forward to this book!

  4. Awesome review! I've heard about this book quite a bit around the blogosphere lately, but this is the first time I've had an in-depth look at the summary and characters. Definitely something I'm looking forward to check out. I have just one question... did it make you cry? It has that feel to me. I have nothing against crying over a good book, but I like to be prepared. :)

  5. I'm so glad it lived up to your expectations. I'm afraid to read the beginning though because if I get sucked in I'll be frustrated if that's all I can read.

  6. I can't wait to read this book! It looks sooo good!

    Great review :)

  7. That premise is definitely a hook. After your review, I'm going to have to put this on my "to read" list.