22 November 2010

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagine. - Goodreads

Okay. Wow. I really don’t know where to start. Controlling my feelings - and my enormous LOVE - for this book is like trying to get my thoughts together well enough to write a review on Mockingjay (which I still haven’t gotten around to doing, FYI).

The story is told from the perspective of popular mean girl Samantha “Sam” Kingston. Sam has three best friends who are the most popular girls in school, Elody, Ally and - the ring leader - Lindsay. On the first day, Sam and her friends go to school, receive dozens of roses for Cupid Day, gossip, bitch and talk about the Butterfly Effect (the theory, not the movie). That all seems well and good, and the girls go of to a house party hosted by the not-so-popular Kent, who happens to be an ex-childhood friend of Sam’s. Then, Sam dies. Yes. It’s that sudden. I won’t go into details about how she dies, you’ll just have to read the book!

Sam then wakes up to her alarm clock beeping, and soon realises that something isn’t quite right. Instantly, my mind starts thinking “Oh gosh, GROUNDHOG DAY!” and it turns out I was correct. Sam is living the same day over again. This happens again and again - six times to be exact - and Sam starts to realise that her life at school is far from perfect, and that her and her friends shouldn’t really be the most popular girls in school. 

Sam’s personality grows and grows throughout the book, as she lives through Cupid Day again and again. She becomes a lot more mature, and starts to try to correct all of the things that she and her friends did wrong, in just that one day. She soon realises that her actions have a bigger effect on her world than she initially thought. Even little things like taking a parking space before someone else. 

The ending was more than satisfying, although I have seen some people complaining. Why are they complaining? I don’t really know. 

Lauren Oliver is truly amazing. Her writing - and her book - is sheer brilliance. She captures the personality of a spoilt teen mean girl perfectly, and she is able to show character growth, and the vulnerability of the characters without saying too much. It’s just.. Breathtaking. Truly breathtaking. 

In case you hadn’t realised, I’m slightly awestruck at how this book turned out to be. I expected a light, easy read but this turned out to be complex and very thought provoking. I laughed, I cried, and then after I finished I just lay there thinking about the book. This book gets a HIGH recommendation from me, and honestly if you don’t read it, then you’re missing out.

Because I just couldn’t give it 5.

Buy Before I Fall at:
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 4 Mar 2010 (UK)


  1. Thanks for the review. The book sounds amazing, I must put it higher on my list of books to read. It sounds so interesting :)

  2. :D Thanks for reading! It's SO good. Words can't describe. XD

  3. I am so glad you loved it too! I thought it held an incredible message!

  4. This book really touched me! I found myself crying at the end. Great book.
    I am now a follower of your great site =)
    Books For Company

  5. Hi Jodie! Thanks for following! :) I agree, it was such a touching book. I can't wait to read Lauren Oliver's new book 'Delirium', hopefully it will be just as good!

  6. I agree. I really loved this book and thought it was very thought provoking. Looking forward to reading Delirium as I really like the author's writing style.

  7. Oh WOW! I had no idea you had read this book too! I thought it was beautifully written and so powerfully done, the way that Sam grows up and learns so much... it was just an amazing book!


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