Book Review: Before I Fall

“I guess that’s what saying good-bye is always like–like jumping off an edge. The worst part is making the choice to do it. Once you’re in the air, there’s nothing you can do but let go.” 
― Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall
Book Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: 2010
Genres: YA Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.94 Stars
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
What if you only had 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 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.
The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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.
1. Repetitive. Essentially, Sam dies one day, then relives the same day seven times. My friend who read it before me said that it got really repetitive and boring. Honestly, I though that Sam lived each day differently enough to keep it from getting boring. Repetitive? Sure. But not boring. It was interesting to me to see how she changed each day and the outcome of those changes.

2. I hated this character. No, really. She was a bratty, selfish, annoying teenager who bullied other students, flirted with teachers, and acted like there was no one out there better than her. And honestly, throughout the book, while she was SUPPOSED to be learning lessons, I don’t feel like she grew much. At the end (no spoilers), there’s a glimmer of improvement, but really, it’s not shown enough throughout the novel.

3. If you want to read an Lauren Oliver Book, stick to Panic. Although this novel was published before Panic, I read Panic first. And I loved it. I was expecting the same kind of thrill while reading Before I Fall, but I was disappointed. It wasn’t as emotional or thrilling as Panic was, and I couldn’t find a character that I was rooting for in this novel.

While it wasn’t the best YA novel I’ve ever read, Before I Fall had an interesting concept and a surprising ending which made up for the lack of empathy I felt for the character.

“It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It’s never occurred to me before; I’ve never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different.”

“Here’s another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you’re dead, it’s the only thing that keeps you alive.”

“I shiver, thinking how easy it is to be totally wrong about people-to see one tiny part of them and confuse it for the whole, to see the cause and think it’s the effect or vice versa”
“The last laugh, the last cup of coffee, the last sunset, the last time you jump through a sprinkler, or eat an ice-cream cone, or stick your tongue out to catch a snowflake. You just don’t know.”

One thought on “Book Review: Before I Fall

  1. This book frustrated me so much. Like you, I absolutely HATED the main character. I like main characters who are misfits and are people that I can relate to. She was absolutely awful, and I had to force myself through the last half of the book.


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