Book Review: Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
ISBN: 9780061726804
Pages: 480
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Teen/YA
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Samantha Kingston, knows as Sam to her friends, dies the night of February 12.  The next thing she knows, she’s waking up to the sound of her alarm.  The date?  Friday, February 12.  As Sam is forced to relive the day of her death, she begins to realize that she can choose to do things differently, and just maybe change the outcome of the day.

Review:

I knew what Before I Fall was about before I started reading it, but somehow it still hit me like a ton of bricks.  It was completely different than what I expected.  I couldn’t put it down, reading through every twist and turn of Sam’s fateful day.

I really liked the character of Sam.  She wasn’t perfect, but she was a good person.  Her character really evolved over the course of the novel.  She began to realize how her actions affected other people and to understand that she didn’t operate in a vacuum.  Even if she found something funny, it might harm someone else.

I loved how nuanced all the characters were in Before I Fall.  There was no good and bad.  People weren’t mean because they were horrible people.  Instead, the book showed that deep down, even the most confident people are terrified.  It’s not all black and white.  I loved how Oliver gave depth to each of her characters.

The “Groundhog Day” effect was employed really well in this novel.  I loved how Sam chose to act differently each time through.  However, she didn’t let her fear and anger over the situation control her.  She tried to take the reins, figuring that maybe if she could do things better the next time, all would be well.  I loved how she discovered that no matter what, she couldn’t control everything.  It wasn’t all about her in the end.

Before I Fall was an intriguing and unique book that I highly recommend to adults and teens alike.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading it and can’t wait to see what Lauren Oliver comes up with next.

Comments

  1. We are big fans of Groundhog Day in the Nawrot house. While the movie is really light-hearted and the main character doesn’t die, I still want to read this book, and may even recommend it to my daughter.

  2. We are big fans of Groundhog Day in the Nawrot house. While the movie is really light-hearted and the main character doesn’t die, I still want to read this book, and may even recommend it to my daughter.

  3. Love the sound of this book, which means another addition to my super long list of books to check out. This is why I love visiting your site, I always find out about new authors and get to add more titles to my list. Cheers!

  4. Love the sound of this book, which means another addition to my super long list of books to check out. This is why I love visiting your site, I always find out about new authors and get to add more titles to my list. Cheers!

  5. I enjoy reading your reviews and opinions.

    I want to read this one, actions and consequences and having the chance to change them, sounds good.

  6. I enjoy reading your reviews and opinions.

    I want to read this one, actions and consequences and having the chance to change them, sounds good.

  7. I haven’t read a bad review of this book! I need to dig it out of my stacks.

  8. I haven’t read a bad review of this book! I need to dig it out of my stacks.

  9. I really enjoyed this one, too. I loved Oliver’s writing, it was so easy to read.

  10. I really enjoyed this one, too. I loved Oliver’s writing, it was so easy to read.

  11. I can’t wait to read this one since I’ve heard nothing but raves about it!

  12. I can’t wait to read this one since I’ve heard nothing but raves about it!

  13. What an intriguing premise. This sounds like a good one!

  14. What an intriguing premise. This sounds like a good one!

  15. I’ve read so much about this book but am yet to find it. Groundhog Day was an interesting movie so any advances on it appeal to me. I’m glad to read your further insight as most of what I’ve read was about the promotion of it.

  16. I’ve read so much about this book but am yet to find it. Groundhog Day was an interesting movie so any advances on it appeal to me. I’m glad to read your further insight as most of what I’ve read was about the promotion of it.

  17. The first couple of chapters were a bit slow for me but the last several (when the story really started to move and change) more than made up for it. By the end I was wondering if what was shown to happen at the outset really was going to happen.

    It was a fabulous read.

  18. The first couple of chapters were a bit slow for me but the last several (when the story really started to move and change) more than made up for it. By the end I was wondering if what was shown to happen at the outset really was going to happen.

    It was a fabulous read.

  19. The plot reminds me of a Sandra Bullock movie, “Premonition.” Intriguing premise. My list of books to read just keeps growing & growing!

    JHS
    Colloquium

  20. The plot reminds me of a Sandra Bullock movie, “Premonition.” Intriguing premise. My list of books to read just keeps growing & growing!

    JHS
    Colloquium

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