When Samantha Kingston unexpectedly gets killed in a car crash, she awakes alive in her own bed the next morning. Given the chance to relive her last day seven times, she realizes how being a good person leads to a more fulfilling, happy life. Despite the sometimes annoying sexual innuendo, Before I Fall strikingly captures modern teen life. Inspiring readers to become better people, this novel is too meaty and powerful to slip out of one's brain, unlike the many other forgettable novels that reside in the realm of YA fiction.
It took a couple hundred pages to slip into the groove of this book. At the start, I hated the protagonist of Samantha Kingston, a popular mean girl with even meaner friends. She was bratty, obnoxious, shallow, and annoying, and I wondered how I would be able to tolerate the rest of the book while she was the main character. Since she annoyed me, and the beginning of the novel's plot was wishy-washy, I put the book down and decided to read other material. However, I could not have been more wrong about this book; two weeks later, bracing myself for a dreary trudge through a tedious and annoying tale, I buried my nose amidst the pages once more, only to witness the character of Samantha Kingston evolve into a real, lovable person. Before I Fall contains beautifully structured character development. Throughout the novel, Samantha journeys away from her vapid, cruel self and heads towards being a good person with moral values.
Driven by Sam's actions and reactions, the plot cascades over the pages, intertwines itself from beginning to end, and composes a hearty novel that I will remember forever. I enjoyed the concept of Sam living the same day seven times, though it seemed too repetitive in the beginning. However, once the novel picked up momentum, it glued itself to my fingers and hollered at me if I attempted to discard it on the table. Though Sam changed dramatically during the novel, the people around her remained the same. It was as though each time she relived her last day, she wrote on the sandy shore of a beach, leaving imprints only on herself and not on the people around her, because the tide of the ocean would roar in and obliterate any trace of Sam's changes, so the next time she relived, the shore of the beach would be smooth and unmarked. This was frustrating, because I feel as though on her last day, when her changes truly mattered, Sam should have confronted her friends and their cruel actions.
The ending flavored the book bittersweet, wrapped it up in an unpredicted manner, and left me with a sense of feeling as though I had to change my own life like how Sam changed hers. An emotional journey for all readers, Before I Fall captures heartbreak, anger, sadness, and friendship. This compelling novel emblazoned the true meaning of being good onto my mind, and is a must-read for all those who have the time for a long and thoughtful novel.
Cover: 3/5 -- This cover is eye catching, haunting, but nothing special. I really like the placement and font of the title.
Reprinted here with permission of reviewer @ thesmartyowl.blogspot.com
A lot of people I really respect raved about this book but...ehh. Maybe it was all the hype, but Before I Fall just didn't stick with me.
Samantha was obviously very irritating at first. I didn't like her. As the story went on, I started to like her more, but first impressions, guys. Sometimes we just can't get past them, you know?
The story itself was pretty interesting. I know there are books like this out there, but I'd never read one before. So to me, it was different. I liked seeing how each new scenario affected Samantha and her life and it did make me think for a little bit about every action we do and how it changes things.
And it was really well written. I can never deny that Lauren Oliver really is a fantastic writer. I've read all but one of her currently released books and she's honestly an incredible author who certainly deserves to be widely published and loved.
But honestly, Before I Fall isn't my kind of book. It may have had some impact when I read it months ago, but now I can barely remember reading it and only have a vague idea of everything that happens in the story. It was just...a book that I read earlier this year. And that's all, honestly.
Many people loved this book. They hardcore fangirl and push this book. I'm just not one of those readers. I enjoyed it while I read it, but it was just one of those "meh" books for me.
I you could relive your last day, how would you change it?
Reader reviewed by Nikki aka SpunkiiReader
First off WOW! This book was amazing. Sam Kingston is a character you love to hate, but throughout the book you watch her grow and change to become a character you truely love.
Its Friday Febuary 12, and it's Sam's last day. But then she wakes up in the morning to find out it's Febuary 12 again, and again 6 times. How far would you go to keep youself from dying? What do you do when no matter how the day plays out you still dont see tomorrow? This book really makes you think about they way you live your life and how you treat other people. How do you want to be rememberd if you were to die tonight? This is a really good read and a touching story.
I've put off writing this review for awhile just because I didn't know if I could do the book justice. I've decided to just let the review come from my heart and leave it at that. This book is amazing and painful, hopeful and sad all rolled into one. When I started the story I hated Sam and her friends. And I'm not exaggerating when I say hate. They are the typical mean girls. This was hard for me because, being a 7th grade teacher, I see things like this starting. And being the mother of an 11 year old girl - my heart hurt thinking she might encounter girls like these. When I got done with chapter one I saw no way that Sam could be anything but what I saw of her in that first chapter. But then, like the summary said, she gets a second chance. Throughout this second chance I wanted to shake her. She just couldn't get it! Everything was so self-centered! But as the story goes on, Sam learns. Much of what she had going on inside her was able to come out into more of the person she should be. By the end, I didn't hate her anymore - not even a little.
Before I Fall is a difficult book. As an adult I had a hard time reading it. I was starting the last chapter at school, and I had to stop because I was crying by the second paragraph into it. This book hit my at my core. I'm not a high schooler living in the midst of that like the characters were. But I see these characters in real life walk the halls of my school. Lauren Oliver made them extremely real. Maybe just a little too real at times. I honestly believe that this is a book many girls should read because it might help them take a good hard look at themselves and how they are treating those around them. My fear is - that even after reading it, they wouldn't see themselves in it. I worry the whole point of the story might be lost. I know it wasn't lost on me, and I walked away from the story changed.
Final thought: A hard look at how we treat each other and why. Best stick-with-you image: the whole book Best for ages: 16+
Word of warning to parents: this is a very mature book in content, language and situations.
In this book a girl learns that being nice to people is better then being mean and horrible. If you are looking for a good book pick this up and you won't put it down untill the very end. I loved this book and the way it is written. I learned a lot here and you will to. So read this and see what happens.
I am happy that I got the chance to read this book.
Would I have picked it up on my own were it not a B&N First Look? Maybe some time, but probably not. But like the book showed so well, a million different little things changed that, and I am genuinely happy that it did come into my hands.
I hated several main characters at first like Lindsay, Ally, Elody, and Sam. I knew and even still know people like them. But the evolution of Sam and her revelations on everythings connectedness let my perceptions evolve along with her. From the beginning, I was taken with how the author captured things that really happen (to all of us) just perfectly. She get the characters so right, down to the "unofficial" H.S. dress code of New Balance sneakers and Northface jackets. I know that Sam's (the main character) experience is sorta like the movies Groundhog Day or Sliding Doors, but really thats only a fraction of it. The amazing insight and realistic events/people/conversations in the book are extraordinary, and even eery. Readers will instantly connect with the familiarity of the social hierarchy and mean girls group. I really loved Before I Fall. Congratulations to Lauren Oliver on writing something so amazing!
Kingston is living the life. She is one of the most popular girls at
her high school, has the hottest boyfriend, and the most amazing group of best friends. February 12 was supposed to be just another day. Instead, it became her last. She died the night of. But
then she wakes up the next day. She checks what date is, and there's no
mistake; It is February 12. Again. At first she thought it was all a
dream. But soon she realizes, she is given a second chance to relive
her final day. In fact, she is given seven days to discover the truth
behind her mysterious death -- and realize the true value of her life
and everything in it.
Review: It is not often that books take the route of having a 'mean girl' as the protagonist, instead of the typical outsider from the outside looking in. For this YA debut novel from Lauren Oliver, I thought it worked perfectly. Before I Fall is indeed a story about a girl who dies and gets a second chance. However, it truly is so much more than that. Yes,
the plot was original and the characters were real. The pace is fast
and the flow of words are effortless, making this 500 page novel seem
like 50 instead. Truth be told though, this book is not just about
those anymore. For me, the main purpose of this book are the messages
that it sends to its readers. They are simple really, but often times,
the simplest things are the ones that are most important -- and ignored. Before I Fall also proves
that even the smallest of things -- good or bad -- can change
everything and make the most difference. It can either be a small
change in our everyday lifestyle or a simple act of kindness towards
The main character, Samantha Kingston, speaks for
everyone of us, which I think makes her the perfect protagonist. She is
perfectly flawed. After all, she is a mean girl. Snobbish, snotty, "bitchy," selfish,
arrogant. What's there to like? But as we read on and get to know her
more, we realize the harsh truth; sometimes, we act like her too. We can be mean, selfish, and arrogant, sometimes even without knowing it. The best thing I got from this book though, is realizing that there is still
time to change for the better, unlike Samantha, who simply ran out of
it. What can we do? We can start with the simple things. Do or say
something nice to someone today; a genuine compliment, a real apology
-- anything. We have no idea how this might change someone's way of
thinking, and how these little acts of kindness can truly heal.
is why I give this book 5 stars. Like I said, the writing, pace, plot
development, and character development are all perfect. But I think
aside from those, the main reason why this novel is getting so much
praise is because it has done something unique and special -- becomes
more than just pages of writing. Before I Fall teaches
us real life lessons, makes us ponder on what truly matters in life,
and has the ability to possibly change something in us for the better.
How could I not give it 5 stars?? I will not talk about the ending
or anything specific that happens in the book, as I feel as if any
information I say might spoil it, but I will say, this is one of those
books I highly recommend.; original, haunting, inspiring, and
thought-provoking. Hopefully, you'll not only be entertained by reading
it, but find it meaningful long after you finish it -- because that's
exactly what happened to me.
Before I Fall is one of the best YA books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. With skillful writing, an interesting story, and some very dynamic characters, this book is sure to please all readers. I LOVE when an author can make me hate a character and then grow to love them all in the same novel. That is exactly what Oliver has done. The story is very emotional and extremely satisfying. I've recommended this book to everyone I know and I will keep doing so. Just amazing.
This book was one of the best I have read this year! An amazing story with a fast pace to always keep the reader guessing. Lauren Oliver has a very descriptive style of writing that makes it easy to envision the story as a movie in your mind. Definitely a book I will be passing along to others as a must read!
I loved this book. It took me a while to get into it, but its one of those books that you just have to know what happens. I'm not sure I liked the ending, but I see why it had to happen that way. Definitely a great read. It will take you a while though.