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Before I Fall
Before I Fall
Author: 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. ...  more »
Info icon
ISBN-13: 9780061726804
ISBN-10: 006172680X
Publication Date: 3/2/2010
Pages: 480
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 110

3.9 stars, based on 110 ratings
Publisher: HarperCollins
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

natalietahoe avatar reviewed Before I Fall on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
It's not often that a book that leaves me with more questions than answers is actually a very, very good thing.

Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver sits in my category of "I Wish This Had Been Written When I Was a Teenager." It's uncomfortable, heartbreaking, and disturbing, but with a powerful message that's rendered me speechless. While at just under 500 pages, this weighty chunkster of a novel reads quickly and pulls at your heart, along the way forcing you to look at your own life and question the whys and why nots of your own choices.

Sam is a senior in high school and is one of a group of four girls that are the most popular. If you're not in their social status, then you probably want to be noticed by them, but would be terrified if they did. Sam, Lindsay, Elody, and Ally are best friends and live their lives where drinking, flirting with teachers, and casual sex is the norm, as is ridiculing anyone labeled a "freak." How can they get away with it? There must be some rule book that to be popular in high school, you have to be just plain mean. But, tonight is Friday, and it's time for the party everyone is going to. It will be a night of drinking, picking on a couple of people, and even the tension of Sam possibly losing her virginity to the hottest guy in school won't slow them down. The night ends with all four girls leaving the party and before they know it, they're in a brutal car accident and Sam didn't make it. She died in the car, but she's actually still living. Living that very last day, each mean act, over and over again.

Well. To live each day the same as the next? That would certainly put a pretty big magnifying glass over every single final action. Living a life in analysis is a gift, but if you were mean and living the same exact day over and over and over... it would be an absolute curse. You'd be exposing some awful things, see yourself in a way you might not like, that could make you just hate yourself. What I thought was even more fascinating about this book is that it also brings to mind another thought about the whole high school dynamic - on the surface, one might be a villain, but it's also very possible that they could be just as mixed up and confused about their own lives as the ones they pick on. The bully might be a bully, but the bully might be every bit as insecure as the next high school kid. How can they unwrap themselves out of the never-ending repetition of being mean? Unbeknownst to them, their one mean action, seemingly forgettable to them at the time, could have a ripple effect that is unmeasurable.

I walked away with so many questions, specifically one we should all ask ourselves. If you were to die today, would you be proud of the way you treated others?

I would recommend this to absolutely anyone. Parents, as always though, I'd suggest you read it first before giving to your kids to read, but I would probably bet that a sixteen-year-old would completely relate to a lot of the situations in this book. Lauren Oliver isn't afraid to tap into some of the very things that are nonchalantly brushed off and taken advantage of. While capturing young life so authentically, she's made it okay to remind yourself to do the things we can so easily forget. Think about it. And make good choices.
cheermom140 avatar reviewed Before I Fall on + 85 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Sam Kingston, one of the popular girls at her high school, dies in a car accident and must relive the same day every day until she gets it "right." This is a Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls type of story. I loved it. Really shows you how your actions, no matter how small, really do have consequences. Read it in 2 days.
susieqmillsacoustics avatar reviewed Before I Fall on + 859 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This story is well done. It was somewhat difficult in the beginning because the protagonist and the high school clique she was a part of are just abhorrent, but that is part of the point of the story. As she experiences the same day with different actions and consequences, she begins to grow and change. The chapters are long, because each one is the whole day (chapter one is day one, chapter 6 is day 6, etc.). I loved what she found in her search for herself in the end. Unique and moving overall.
katiems98 avatar reviewed Before I Fall on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I think this book was a great concept to teach readers what an impact our decisions and treatment of others can make. I however would not let my "youth" daughter read this, as it talks of teenage drinking, sex, drugs, etc as if there is nothing wrong with it and is the "norm" for teens. I do not think they need any more encouragement:) It is disappointing I cannot let me children read it, because it is a powerful message about how we should treat others. I, as an adult, thoroughly enjoyed the book and I would recommend to any adult
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reviewed Before I Fall on + 168 more book reviews
This book was OK. I did read it in one night, though I skipped over some of the "woe is me" parts (which crop up a lot).

Halfway through, I figured out the ending - pretty much to the last detail. So, there really wasn't any lead up or suspense for me.

Generally, I found the main character rather annoying. It's hard to really love a novel where you don't like the main character. But, the other characters were interesting. So, I kept reading - mainly to find out what happened in the lived of the other characters.

Also ... I don't know if I just zoned out throughout my entire high school experience, but I couldn't relate at all to the high school experience in this book. I either went to a really amazing school, or (as I said) went through high school totally oblivious to what was going on.

I give it 2.5 stars - because it kept me reading, and was fairly well written.
babyjulie avatar reviewed Before I Fall on + 336 more book reviews
This is a strange book and not an easy one for me to review. I'll keep this short. Sam isn't a character that would win any awards. I'm not sure I even liked her much at the end. But I personally don't think I know a soul who couldn't relate to her. Oliver captured high school and what goes on perfectly. I felt like I was 15 again and I didn't like it.
I'm not the type of person who needs to love the characters I read about and I'm definitely not the type who needs a happy ending. A lot of the time I prefer a more realistic ending actually. This fit with both of those patterns.
I was able to hate Lindsay and feel for her at the same time. That takes great skill on the part of the author. I love, love, love, love, Kent's character - love him. I know a Kent too. And I just recently met up with him again (thanks FaceBook!)
You'd think a book that takes a character living the same day over and over would get boring. I still don't know how Oliver kept that from happening but somehow she did.
Now, I'm not sure I even want to admit this but I'm not exactly sure how Sam really redeemed herself. She didn't seem to IMO. Maybe I'm just judging her more harshly than I should? Either way the book leans toward outstanding.
The cover is absolutely stunning also!
yesiamareadaholic avatar reviewed Before I Fall on
I loved this book! It tells how a girl learns a valuable lesson...if you could go back in time and change the decisions you've made, would you? I gave it 4 1/2 stars, definitely in my top 10 YA books for 2010.


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