Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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.
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.