Review Detail

4.7 28
Young Adult Fiction 8639
Overall rating
Writing Style
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.
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