Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 2, 2010
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: Won
They say to live every day as if it's your last - but you never actually think it's going to be.  You always think you'll have more time.

That's what I thought.  But I was wrong.

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.

What if, like me, you could live your last day over again?  Could you make it perfect?  If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have any regrets?  Are there things you'd want to change?
Amazing.  I struggle to come up with a way to describe how I felt about this book once I finished it.  It. Was. Freaking. Awesome.  The writing and the characters were so brutally honest.  Oliver doesn't leave out the ugly and the terrible.

Samantha Kingston is a bitch.  Her friends are bitches.  They are mean, spiteful, vindictive girl bullies who mistake the fear of their peers for admiration.  I was appalled by Sam and her friends' behavior a lot of the time.  But it was real, and raw, and seriously and hatefully jacked up at times.  Other than the occasional appearance of a guilty conscience which suggested that Sam was acting outside of what she felt was acceptable behavior, Oliver doesn't give us much to like about Sam.  But I wanted her to be able to right her wrongs and redeem herself.  We always want to believe that the good in a person will take over in the end. 

The plot is cyclical.  This did slow down my reading for the first couple of days, since it is repetitive at first.  Sam relives the last day of her life over and over again.  Each day is a little different, based on Sam's various decisions and actions.  The longer this happens, the more the days change, so it doesn't stay the same every time.

This novel is beautiful.  It does a great job of illustrating how our actions can affect others, both positively and negatively.  It shows us the difference that one day can make.  It reminds us that we are fragile - that our lives could snuff out at any moment - and that we should take advantage of every second that we have.  I felt that the arc of the story and the ending were right.  Before I Fall left me in a pensive mood for many hours afterward.  I absolutely loved it.


  1. I read this last year, and recently reviewed it. It's probably the most powerful book i read in 2010, and a comtempory fiction novel that deserves to stand up there with books like Speak, Hold Still and Willow :)

    Great Review!

    Come check out my Eternal review?

  2. I absoltuely loved this book. I'm glad you did to. I loved the story and I agree, everything was so real. I was devestated a the end. I was so sad. But I loved it, and as the comment above says, I think it was one of the most powerful reads of 2010 for me. I'm reading Lauren Oliver's next novel, Delirium, right now, and I am liking it, but it really hasn't hit the good part yet. Either way, her writing is amazing.

  3. I read this book this week, and though it wasn't what I expected, I really liked it! I thought it was refreshing that Sam wasn't perfect or even nice. Great review!

  4. Wow, I think this is the first time I've actually read a review about Before I Fall, but it sounds great. Kind of like the high school version of that movie Groundhog Day (the one with Bill Murray). Thanks for the great review Jenny! I've added this book to my TBR list.

  5. I loved this one too! SUCH a good and powerful book that had me thinking about my own life and the way I treat the people around me.


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