It's very rare that I read a book multiple times but Before I Fall was just amazing. Not only did I love the book but I loved Lauren Oliver's writing style. this book will make you think and I would recommend it to anyone
This is a book about second chances, and third and fourth etc. When Sam dies she gets the opportunity to relive the day she dies over and over again. You would think that she decides right away to right all her wrongs and become the girl she really wants to be. You couldn't be more wrong. It takes Sam a bit to pull it together and learn from her mistakes. I loved watching her grow throughout the story. Each morning when she wakes up and relives her day she learns something new about herself and the about the person she would like to be.
This was a unique story and not something that I have read before. You would think reading about a character reliving the same day over and over again would get old but it doesn't. Oliver does a very good job of showing you how Sam grows and also showing you different scenes that happened within that day. Sam and her friends are popular mean girls who you can't help but dislike. As the story goes on you end up pulling for Sam and wanting to see her succeed.
This book really makes you examine your life, the relationships you have with others and how you treat them. It is a book that I will read again many times to come. If you have not picked this one up I suggest you get to it ASAP!
I love this book! It's so different and strange. I could read it over and over again, and that's saying something. I guess if you put yourself in the Samantha's shoes, you will really feel everything. I love Kent, too!!! He is my favorite character. He's just so perfect.
I've read a lot of books of that I didn't expect to be good but this tops them all.
My opinion on this book is that it is really good and also shocking. It has a couple flaws but overall I would certainly recommend this.
Mostly this novel is a bout a girl named Sam who goes through the same day over and over again like the movie Groundhog Day. The difference between the two is simple this book if much better and more interesting than the movie that I never finished watching, because personally it was dumb and a bit boring.
I love this book, but really it depends on the person and what types of books they enjoy because everyone has their own opinions and interests. Read it and you might love it.
I read this after reading Delirium, so I already liked Oliver's style, but I was amazed by the ending to this novel. It lingers and makes you think.
This is so expertly crafted, spiraled and woven together like a glittering tapestry of words. It was truly an unputdownable read, one I will cherish and think back on for a LONG time. The concept is brilliant, but I can't tell you why, it would ruin it. Just read it. Just trust. I can't believe I waited to read this until after reading DELIRIUM.
The MC, Sam(antha) is popular, snarky, and a follower of the worst kind of stuck up girls in school. Through a twist of fate, she's forced to relive the same day for seven straight days, each day a new layer of onion skin peeled back and revealing how changes and perspectives missed can lead you to see what you've been missing all along, even things that have been right in front of your nose. I appreciate how the MC realizes the rut she's in and desires to be a better person. It took a few days (of the seven) to really get pulled into the story, but once I was in, I was in all the way.
So, so, so, very amazing. I feel like I've launched up, up, up from the pages and taken flight. Thank you, Lauren, for making me soar.
Obviously, I've heard a lot about this, long before I opened it. The concept sounded fascinating and I enjoyed Delirium, so I was definitely super excited to read this one. Anyway, the opening section totally caught my attention with the cleverness of the writing and the strength of the voice. Even though I could immediately tell that I would kind of hate the main character, I was hooked.
Seriously, I spent the first half of the book wanting to do nothing so much as punch Sam and her friends in their made-up faces. Ugh. It was awful. Basically, most of this book reminded me just how much I hated high school. I'm so glad I'm through with that part of my life, and I would not go through it again, even if I could take all the knowledge I have now with me. People are so cruel and all of the emphasis put on popularity, on being this cookie cutter person who dates the right people and goes to the right parties; it's all bullshit.
What's important to know, though, is that even during the many, many pages where I wanted to punch pretty much everyone in the face, I still really enjoyed reading Before I Fall. The writing is completely captivating. Lauren Oliver very much captures Sam's voice, and manages to let Sam's character grow at a very natural pace.
Obviously, this plot is like Groundhog Day mashed up with Mean Girls. Much like the former film manages not to be boring, even though he's living the same day over and over again, Oliver's book never dragged. Even thought the events that transpired as Sam lived the same date over and over again remained pretty consistent, the smallest changes made huge differences or no difference at all. I really loved the emphasis placed on how much and how little can change in just a single day. Really makes a girl think about carpe-ing that diem.
My very favorite part of the novel, other than the really awesome concept and the writing, is Kent. He is just the cutest, so nerdy and himself. Were he not so brave, he could pretend and be as popular as anyone, but instead he embraces his weirdness, and I just love that about him. I wish I'd had a guy like him in high school, but I also know that I would have been too afraid of venturing out of the mainstream that I totally wasn't in anyway to go for it. That's the message I want to leave this post with: life's too short to pass up an amazing, cute, nerdy guy...now I just have to find one (that's not fictional).
As for the ending, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it just now. Honestly, I'm not sure what happened entirely, but I definitely want to bawl my eyes out (figuratively, because literally would be really gross).
Lauren Oliver is quickly climbing my list of "authors I trust." She may not have many books under her belt yet, but I love what I've read so far. She has an amazing talent for writing characters in such a way that I feel like I know them and understand them - even if I don't agree with them. She tackles subject matter I wouldn't normally be interested in, and makes me care.
I'll get it out of the way early: Before I Fall is Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day. Sam's story is equal parts Cady Heron (post-Plastification) and Phil Connors (although she probably resembles Lindsay Lohan a bit more than Bill Murray).
But you know what? I love Mean Girls and Groundhog Day. And I loved Before I Fall. So who cares? A good story is a good story.
So, that said, what's the fun in reading a book about a Mean Girl that lives the same horrible day over and over, and dies after most of them?
As I said before: Lauren Oliver has an amazing talent.
I'm guessing that unless you really are Regina George, you will hate Sam at the start of the novel. She's shallow, she's rude, she's selfish, and she's mean. She justifies all her actions to herself, but she's not in any way likable. I spent most of the first few chapters wanting to shake some sense into her vapid, empty head.
However, the more I read, the more invested I was in Sam and her journey. She grew. She transformed. Sometimes I wished she would snap out of her Plastics mentality faster, but Ms. Oliver wrote her arc very naturally and organically. And even when I didn't agree with her decisions, I understood them.
Yes, there were parts where it dragged slightly (the fact that those parts are few and far between is still a monumental achievement in a book that recounts the same day seven times). And while I found myself ultimately liking Sam and cheering her on, there were a few other characters that made me gag every time they entered the scene (Sam's BFF, Lindsay, and hunky boyfriend, Rob, are two prime examples). I understand their necessity to the story, but man, were they ever annoying.
The biggest problem I had with the book was that even after Sam realizes the error of her ways, she never calls out her friends (especially Lindsay) on their incessant bullying of...well, just about everyone. On the one hand, I can see how Sam is still intimidated by Lindsay and afraid of upsetting her. On the other...I kind of just wanted her to grow a spine.
However, those annoyances were completely overshadowed by my investment in Sam's story; my complete adoration of the character of Kent, the sensitive, socially awkward boy who's had a crush on Sam ever since elementary school; and my fascination with the character of Juliet, a reclusive girl who Sam, Lindsay & Co. have been tormenting for years.
Before I Fall ended before I was ready, but it ended where it needed to end. The story was resolved the way it should be (and no, I'm not going to tell you if she lives or dies. You'll have to find that out for yourself).
I found myself thinking about Sam and her story long after I put the book down. Her story is haunting, sweet, heartbreaking, and inspiring. I loved it.
hey say ‘live every day as if it’s your last’ – but you never actually think it’s going to be. At least I didn’t. The thing is, you don’t get to know when it happens. You don’t remember to tell your family that you love them or – in my case – remember to say goodbye to them at all. But what if, like me, you could live your last day over and over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have no regrets? Or are there some things you’d want to change...?
February the 12th, Cupid Day. Sam's favourite day ever. Her friends and herself get the last parking spot in the Senior alley, gets a ton of roses from her friends and boyfriend, Rob. She goes to an awesome party and gets super drunk. But on the way home, the car she is in is hit by something and the car goes flying into the woods. Sam is dead. But the next morning she wakes up in her bed and finds herself alive, but the day is exactly the same, February the 12th. She has to live the day of her death over and over for seven days.
This book has the same idea of Groundhog day, and even Sam thinks that in the book. Each day has different things happen, minor differences. On some days Sam is just the same, others she is plain mean, but near the end, things change for her. This book is like Groundhog Day as she becomes a better person, but more about just accepting what has happened and how to change the things you have done into something a whole lot better.
At first Sam is a mean, popular, senior girl. Her life in her eyes is pretty much as good as it gets. She has three great best friends, a great boyfriend and she is really pretty. But after the first day, her views start to change. I didn't like Sam very much at the start but as the book wore on, she saw what was really happening. I liked the ending, it was sad but amazing.
The way it was written with the days as parts of the book, and that were things that happened under little subtitles. I thought that was a pretty cool idea. I also liked how some parts were written in the view of Sam's 'angel', and others as the Sam that is living it.
This book is truly stunning, but it is not for younger readers as their quite strong themes. But other than that, I totally recommend it to all readers.
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON http://shelversanon.blogspot.com
On February 12, Cupid Day, Sam has a great day. She gets the last parking spot at school, gets roses from different admirers (including her boyfriend, the very popular Rob), flirts with her handsome math teacher, and gets sloppy drunk at an amazing party. And on the way home, she dies. The car she and her friends are in swerves to avoid hitting something in the road and goes careening into the woods. There's pain and lights... and then nothing.
She wakes up the next morning in her bed, terrified but relieved. It was only a dream. But it's still Cupid Day. Her friends are still teasing her about her plans to have sex with Rob, she gets the same roses from the same people, but other things are changed. Little things. It's the same day, and it's all happening again.
Let's be clear here. This is not Groundhog Day. There are hilarious moments, but this isn't a book about wish fulfillment (though Sam does try that route on one of her seven days) or even just being a better person.
Sam is a Mean Girl, capital M capital G. She is, as she is told many times in the book, a female canine (obviously, I'm paraphrasing), and she's proud of it. Her three best friends, Lindsay, Elody, and Ally, are just as bad. In many cases, they can be worse, but it's okay. They're Seniors. They're cool. They're not losers like Anna Cartullo, the slut cheating with another girl's boyfriend, or clueless freshies, or psychos like Juliet, the girl forever known as Mello Yello after she wet her sleeping bag in elementary school.
I can be such a lazy reader sometimes. This kind of character I want to be ripped down and pointed to as a Bad Example. I don't want to be in their heads, and I don't want to hear them rationalize their own behavior. But that's what Sam does, because we're in her thoughts. She doesn't see what she's doing to others as bad, so why should we?
Lauren Oliver is a master of letting us figure out things for ourselves. We aren't beaten over the head with the severity of Sam's choices. There is no scolding. We aren't being hit on the hand with a ruler and being told, "Bad bad bad! Don't do this!" And it works. Obviously, as an adult, I'm horrified by the behaviors I see Sam and her troupe celebrating. But would a teenager be? Maybe. If anything, the rubbernecking factor might keep them reading.
Oliver also chronicles the inner workings of the teen social scene fairly realistically (I'll get to the "fairly" later). To me, the voices felt pretty spot on, from Sam & Co.'s Valley Girl talk, to Rob's sleazy boy mutters, to Sam's little sister's lisping giggles. The social hierarchies, the obsession with being popular, the perks of being popular (only popular people know about the parties, the ways to get around the teachers, the secret hideaways), even the different cliques present. And yes, Oliver mentions those cliques in a pretty non-standard way. There's not a cheerleader in sight.
The progression of the story was remarkably realistic as well. After the very first car crash, we as readers acknowledge the likelihood of Sam's death. Pain and a bright light? Yep, death or coma for sure. But not Sam. To her, it's a dream. It's gotta be a dream. And if it isn't, well, maybe a really light coma, because OMG, wouldn't that be so, like dramatic? She's a teenager. In her mind, she's invincible. Death is what happens to old people or ugly people or at least not HER. Even when she does start to think that maybe... maybe... well, even then, that can't be all.
Despite myself, I found myself rooting for her. This mean, callous, unthinking little jerk got under my skin, and do you know why? Because Oliver doesn't leave her as a jerk. She doesn't leave anyone as a total jerk, but she doesn't leave anyone pristinely perfect either. Through the book, different characters are lifted up for inspection. The saints are smudged and made more human, while the jerks, freaks, and villains are deepened and explored. There aren't blatant sob stories. This isn't a PBS special. But characters that I despised I ended up sympathizing with and understanding a little better.
Don't get me wrong, there were still things that made me scowl. I didn't like the language, the sexual content, the drinking, and the drugs, but I understood why they were a part of Sam's world. What I really didn't like was the unstated assumption that these things are all normal, an assumption that was never contradicted. Illegal, harmful things like underage drinking, drinking and driving, and doing pot is not okay, and they're not things that were ever part of my life or my friends lives (and I'm not that old, people, I swear I'm not). And maybe I'm the only freaky little misfit in the entire world who had (has!) a great, open relationship with her family members, because the book sure frames it like I am.
But I liked the book despite it all, because Before I Fall made me think. How have my words, my actions, affected the people around me? If I could see those consequences, would I want to change them? If I had to die in some way other than peaceful old age, how would I want to go? If I could plan my last day on Earth, how would I spend it? Man, those last two tore me up. There are two little sisters in the story who suffer similar losses in different days, little girls who reminded me of my own baby sister, down to their sweet smiles and infectious spirits.
Before I Fall made me ugly-cry. I can't promise a perfect, Disney ending, because it doesn't happen. I'm even too cynical to fully accept that things magically change after the last page. But some things do change. Some things do get better, both in specific people and in general circumstances. There's hope, because as Sam says, hope is what keeps us alive, and it's never too late.
***Points Added For: Intricate, interweaving threads; innocent little sisters; parents that eventually DO make an appearance; a twist that made me gasp; not tying everything up; not making the supposed villains unsympathetic witches; not fixing every little thing; making me cry.
***Points Subtracted For: Normalizing excessively deviant and dysfunctional social patterns; waaaay too many broken families; making me cry.
***Good For Fans Of: Delirium by same author, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, If I Stay by Gayle Forman (all Amazon's idea, because my contemporary fiction knowledge is still pretty weak).
***Notes For Parents: Excessively severe language, underage drinking, illegal drug use, cigarette use, theft, numerous squeamish sexual situations.
A very intricate, compelling plot; intricate characters who refuse to conform to a black-white paradigm.