it was very descriptive and had a lot of depth. she used excellent wording and i liked that every once in a while there was a qoute or the main character would realize something so critical. alot of it was very relatable and seemed so real. its a hard book to put down. i liked the plot and the way she placed the characters. everything fell together perfectly. i also liked that the main character mentions the title. if i had not been borrowing this book, i would have sticky noted, highlighted, dog ear marked, and circled just about every other page.
Sam is one of the worst YA characters I have ever experienced. Not that the author wrote her poorly, just the opposite. She is so real and I can definitely picture her clearly. She’s just a bad person. She’s mean, shallow, dishonest, and a bully. Her friends aren’t any better either. Does this mean she deserved to die? Well, no, of course not, but she is truly awful. However, it does take dying for Sam to realize something has to change.
Before I Fall could have gotten extremely repetitive since it takes place on the same day multiple times, but each time it’s a little different. At first it seems like Sam has gotten a second chance at life, to change the events of that fateful Friday and stay alive. Of course there’s a twist, but Sam is so self-absorbed that she thinks this all about her. Sure she had a hand in what happened, but her second chance is not about her own life. It’s not even about her equally awful friends’ lives. It takes her a few days and numerous questionable decisions to finally realize this.
The author has tackled a very tough subject with Before I Fall and in a very interesting way. She shows just how damaging bullying can be, even if you don’t think what you’re doing is that bad. We all really need to take a step back and consider how our actions affect others. I don’t think this book is preachy at all, but a very realistic portrayal of the effects of bullying. Does Sam magically become an amazing person by the end? No, and I think that’s okay. She realized her mistakes and tries to make amends, even if her methods are shallow. But that fits her character, and the ending would be completely unbelievable otherwise.
Obviously, this has been done before. Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls in book form.
It's the gorgeous writing and the thought provoking premise that really pushed Before I Fall into the land of awesome. (or at least into my land of awesome.)
I hated Sam in the beginning. Actually, that entire group of girls. And I think that was the point. For us to hate Sam, and then be almost in tears when she finally came to the realization that she could have done things better. And, of course, I got teary eyed more than once reading this.
Every character is optimal to the plot. I loved seeing them change from one day to the next. Day 7 really broke my heart. Sam's entire character did a turn around from the girl she used to be.
KENT. Oh my goodness. He is so adorable. I wish Sam would have seen that sooner.
Before I Fall was both everything and nothing I expected. I imagined that Sam would end up going through the emotions and the types of days she did, but I still never could have imagined all the secrets contained in one small day and how the actions of one person could change and reveal things.
You know the author’s done something fantastic when she can make me go from completely despising a character to loving her. And I’m not talking I-really-hated-her-but-she-grew-and-was-tolerable-by-the-end; I mean I wanted to punch Sam in the face for the first part of the book and by the end I had the serious warm-fuzzies for. I was slightly disappointed in the fact that she could just look past all the terrible things Lindsey had done, but maybe that just means a she’s more mature than I :P
I liked the fact that it took Sam quite a while to start changing. I mean, she spent one entire day doing everything she could possibly do that wasn’t like her usual self from kissing her teacher to stealing her mom’s credit card. I have to say, if I was stuck in the same day and nothing I ever did made a difference then I’d probably have a similar day. I’d be pissed at the world too if I knew I was dead and kept reliving the same day. But, the fact is she does change. Sometimes it was hard to read and ended up making me cringe away from the page, but in the end Oliver had created a beautiful character.
The Nutshell: Before I Fall is a beautiful story about hurt and loss and shows us that everything we do matters and has consequence. If you’re looking for a good story with complex characters and a plot that unfolds better than origami then this is the book for you.
I loved this book and literally could not put it down. (I finished reading it in the wee hours of the morning with a tiny lamp emitting the light equivalent to a candle so my husband could sleep.) It's a pretty long book compared to other YA books I've read recently, but it went by in a flash.
The story follows popular girl Sam as she goes through her own version of Groundhog Day after she has presumably died in a car accident. At first I thought rehashing the same day over and over may get boring to read, but each day was so different than the rest and brought new and sometimes shocking revelations.
Sam and her friends are the girls you love to hate, and I did have a great time hating them. I imagined them like the characters from Mean Girls, except not as dumb and more multi-dimensional. Each day we learn more about them through the different events, especially her BFF Lindsay, and you do get to see the flip side to her bitchy persona. Aside from the bullying, the relationship between the four girls actually reminds me of my own group of friends in high school and how we loved driving around, listening to music, talking about ridiculous things, acting like we were adults when we were anything but.
In fact, this book is very nostalgic for me because Lauren Oliver's description of high school is so close to mine right down to The North Face fleeces and New Balance sneakers, that I'm sure we must be around the same age. I also really liked that this book described the partying side of high school in an accurate light (though now that I reflect back on it, it is pretty disturbing). It wasn't glorified or taboo and there was no preachy message; she just wrote it like it is.
This is a great book and Before I Fall makes me excited to see what other tricks Lauren Oliver has up her sleeve!
An amazing book about identity and about making the choices that define who you are
Reader reviewed by Mysteriousrose
I had heard so many great things about this book and when I finally picked it up I was a little afraid that it would disappoint me, but I could not be more wrong it was a great read and it had an honesty that really got to me.
An amazing book about identity and about making the choices that makes you who you are, the things that defines you as a person and the details that you sometimes take for granted in your life.
The story is about a girl who repeats the same day again and again and every time she learns something new about herself and the people around her. My favourite thing in the book is the parts where Samantha speaks to us the readers, all the little things make me think a lot about how I live my life, which things I will remember and which things people will remember me for.
The book's main character Samantha is not someone I liked in the beginning but the changes that happens day after day as well as the journey you as a reader took with her really changed my mind. I had guessed much of the ending but it didn't matter because it was so well written and I actually lay awake afterwards and thought about it. It was so strong and emotionally.
Before I Fall is Lauren Oliver's debut young-adult novel. The book's main character is Sam Kingston- the girl who has it all. She's popular and has everything including a boyfriend and three bestfriends. Being the popular girl, she never expects anything to go wrong, but it does. On February 12, Sam dies and is given the chance to relive the day of her death seven times. As each day passes, she learns more about herself. In the beginning of the book, Sam comes off as an arrogant, popular girl. She's cruel and doesn't care about anyone but her select group of friends. As you flip the pages and enter into Sam's world as she relives each day, you realize her friendship with Lindsay, her boyfriend, and Kent were all sugar-coated the way people wanted it to see. She grows throughout each day and learns about who she really is. This book was hard to put down and I definitely plan on reading more books by Lauren Oliver. Her new book, Delirium, comes out February 1st, 2011. Read the book, I promise it won't let you down. :)
Initially I was concerned about how Oliver would make this
plotline interesting and original, and not just a Groundhog Day
retelling. It had to be more than the same basic events over and over again;
there had to be something really good to keep me reading about the same day
And there definitely is; I couldn't put it down.
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; the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three
amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High -
from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday,
February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day
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.
-From the HarperTeen website
Sam isn't a very nice person, actually she's a "mean-girl". But she's a far
cry from many of the one dimensional mean-girl characters that riddle YA at the
moment. In fact none of the characters are flat, not even Sam's younger sister
who only makes minor appearances. You are drawn into her life as she attempts
to figure out why she's reliving her last and discovering what sort of person
she really is. Oliver creates a character whose changes and growth we can
actually believe. We want her to change, to help the outcast, to kiss the boy,
to find herself before it's too late.
Although the entire book is just one day over and over again, Oliver has
repeated just enough to get you into Sam's mindset as she struggles to figure
out what's happening to her and how to stop it. She doesn't repeat the
unnecessary or let the novel get bogged down in the middle around the fourth
time she relives her day. Being able to do this makes Lauren Oliver a brilliant
writer -- at least in my humble opinion.
Before I Fall makes you think about all the things you've said and done
and how they may have affected someone else, without being preachy or
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
Lauren Oliver has taken "Mean Girls" and mixed it in with "Groundhogs Day". She definitely takes the lives of these shallow and mean-spirited high-school girls and brings them all to life. I'm sure that everyone of us has either known a girl like that, or maybe some of you were one of those mean girls. But either way, we can all relate to someone in this story.
I started out really hating Sam and all her friends! I mean I really really hated them...lol. But, that was the point! They were horrible to people at school and all around whiny and stuck-up. They think nothing about the results that their taunting and bullying could have on others. But as Sam loses her life and has to relive that last day over and over, she will begin to realize that every action really does have a consequence. And all the threads of life are weaved together.
I eventually came to really like Sam, but I think my favorite character of all was Kent. He was goofy, yet sweet and fun loving, just my type of male lead :-) I really experienced a range of emotions with this book, the day she lived with her sister really touched me. My little brother was my shadow when I was growing up and it really made me think about what he would remember of me if I died.
All in all, this was a great concept and the writing was fabulous, my only complaint was sometimes I felt that the repeating of the day could have been cut short by a day or two.... I will definitely look forward to the next book from this author. I would give this a 4 1/2, but since I can't I'll just make it an even 4....