Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
For popular and pretty Sam Kingston, February 12 should be just another day of her perfect life. But in a surprising twist of fate, a car crash with her and her three best friends makes it her last. The catch: Sam gets seven chances to relive her final 24 hours, and is determined to help those around her, and possibly save her own life.
What I Thought of Before I Fall
Before I Fall is one of the best books I’ve read in a while, mainly because it seems to have something for every type of reader. For starters, it depicted the typical life of a popular high school girl in its rawest, most accurate form. Before I Fall certainly doesn’t sugarcoat anything, but I loved that about it. Next, it had a pretty unique supernatural twist to it with Sam’s seven day resurrection sequence, which would appeal to science fiction and fantasy lovers. The author did a fantastic job of not overdoing the fantasy aspect of Before I Fall, so it would also be perfect for realistic fiction readers.
The absolute best part of this book was definitely the characters. Sam, Lindsay, Ally, Elody, Kent, and even little Izzy felt like old friends by the time I finished the book because of the amazing characterization. My favorite books are always the ones that aren’t afraid to go into the tiny details of characters, and Before I Fall does that very well. Even the characters with significant flaws that I wanted to hate, I couldn’t help but love. Additionally, the strong bond between Sam and her friends, even when they weren’t getting along, was exceptionally written.
The only problem I have with this novel is that it was quite predictable. It was clear from the beginning that Sam would have to make changes in her behavior in the days after her death, and I practically knew the ending from page one. However, this isn’t actually bad because knowing the final result didn’t make the journey less beautiful or interesting. Overall, with plots that crossed into several genres, lovable characters, and a realistic depiction of high school life, this book has a lot going for it which is why I grant it a 4.5 stars rating.
The most memorable part of this book is when Sam finally comes to understand why she has been given the chance to relive her last day. It was probably the only part of Before I Fall that surprised me, which is why it is unforgettable.
Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars