Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Published: October 25, 2011
Pages: 484
Source: purchased
Good to know: this book may not be appropriate for a younger audience.

Amazon Summary: 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.


I know I can’t make this book justice in my review. It had so much that can only be experienced ones own way, and that’s the beauty of it. All I know for sure is that whatever you may dislike in the book is exactly what it’s supposed to be. This book isn’t supposed to please you, it’s supposed to tell you a powerful story.

‘Before I Fall’ was incredibly good. I was fascinated by how amazingly well-written it was, and the fantastically woven plotline. Incredible, amazing, fantastic.

I didn’t find myself turning the pages dying to know what comes next, but it had me completely invest myself in every current page.

Oliver has managed with a terrific execution. The same seven days Sam wakes up to she feels differently, thinks differently, do things differently, and goes out of her way trying to meet a different ending to that day.The stages she goes through as she realizes the same day is playing itself over, are frustratingly real - the confusion, anger, desperation.. down to realization and trying to make everything right; even the decisions and outcomes that may not be within her power to correct.

Even though the book never mentions it, I was left deep in thought about the consequences of ones actions and how they snake on further than you can imagine. That’s what Sam learns about.

I appreciated Oliver telling a story from the point-of-view of the most popular, shallow, full-of-themselves, and probably meanest girls in school. But she exposed us to something so excruciatingly raw about these girls. This isn’t about pretty/popular/rich girls; this is about the rawness behind all of that. The ugly truth, if you will. They’re not supposed to be likable.

They’ll make poor decisions and go about in ugly ways, that’s for sure. But that’s why I loved that the story was told from their angle - maybe, just maybe, will you gain understanding to them (not to be mixed with their actions.) And that’s what I did.

I was frustrated with Sam. I felt hopeless with Sam. And I cried for Sam. At the end of the day, I never disliked her. If anything, Sam was brave.

The last chapter was so.. serene, somehow. I could feel it in the energy, in the air. Even as I inched closer to the ending, I hadn’t thought about it much. I hadn’t tried or been able to see how it was going to turn out. I just knew that I absolutely did not want to be disappointed. At that point I didn’t even know what would make me disappointed.

‘Before I Fall’ pulled on the strings of my emotions, it had me frustrated and concentrated and suspenseful, it had me sacrifice hours of precious sleep, it had me think. A lot.
The ending left off on a powerful note. Some might hate it and others - what I hope will be most - will be left.. peaceful. Just as I was.

Peaceful and serene. It just made sense. ‘Before I Fall’ is a master book.


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