Book Title: Before I Fall
Book Author: Lauren Oliver
Page Count: 470
Publishing Date: October 25th, 2010
Date Read: September 8th, 2017
Before I Fall is a stunning, thought provoking novel about love, life, and death. This one will take you on a an emotional journey of self discovery. Lauren Oliver delivers a fascinating story showing how one person’s life can affect so much around them.
The Plot: Samantha Kingston is one of the most popular girls in school! She’s got a tight group of friends, good looks, and the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, Cupid Day, should be another perfect day, until Samantha dies. But, she wakes up to re-live the same day over and over again. Each day will bring new mysteries surrounding her death, and clarity about how she has lived her life until now.
Lauren Oliver did an incredible job with sparking emotion with this one. Before I Fall had me laughing, feeling anger, and experiencing sadness. This one definitely provoked some deep thoughts about life and death, and affecting those around me.
The plot was pretty unique. Samantha died at the end of the night. When she woke up the next day, she thought it had been a vivid dream, until the deja vu feeling stayed with her the entire day. So, she ended up dying again, and upon waking the 3rd time, she decided to start changing things. The story progressed to show how each change she made affected what happened throughout the day. Throughout the story, she experienced some major self discovery and realized what truly mattered in her life and what had just been trivial.
Oliver delivered a solidly built setting in this one. From the character personalities to the story twists, I truly felt like I was in the mind of a high school student. There were a lot of things that could have been construed as offensive or immature as far as content goes (such as: one girl telling the other to stop “lezzing” out when showing friendly affection, the girls constantly talking about sleeping around, or the girls crushing on a hot teacher), but I felt like Oliver was proving a point and was placing us in the mind-frame of high school students. These types of behaviors happened, and continue to happen, in high schools everywhere. I felt like we were supposed to see how shallow this group of girls was, and were meant to see the negative affect of these behaviors and this type of immaturity.
Speaking of shallowness and immaturity. Samantha’s character started out with the characteristics of both. The whole group did. They were the “mean girls” of the school. They bullied and harassed younger students, and girls whom they thought were “ugly” or “freakish”. Samantha slowly began to realize how vapid they really were when she noticed how many lives they affected with their negativity. I hated the group as characters, and admired how Samantha grew and started becoming more caring.
I felt like this book had some valuable lessons in it. There were several moments that may not have been suitable for those under the age of 16, but it was a great book that I would recommend for teenagers to read. I really felt like the author was pointing out how wrong and awful it is for people to act the way the girls did. I felt like she was proving that even the littlest things can have drastic affects on the world.
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