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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

#Book #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver @OliverBooks @harperteen

TITLE: Before I Fall
AUTHOR: Lauren Oliver
PUBLICATION DATE: October 25, 2010
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 544 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary
ISBN: 9780061726811
With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I StayBefore I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam 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 ever imagined.

Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.


This book has been on my radar for years, along with other books from this author. When I saw the film adaptation on Netflix, I figured it was an opportune time to finally get to it!

The prologue is told from Samantha Kingston's perspective, and it is clear right away that she has died. She talks about what she remembers just before she died and being in a car accident with her friends. The prologue ends with Sam saying that this is how her last day went. The events of Sam's last day unfold until the moment of her death. However, when she awakens the following day, she is unclear whether she really did die or if it was a bad dream. Then she discovers that she again is reliving her final day.

I absolutely love Bill Murray's Groundhog Day, where he wakes up and relives the same day over and over again. This book does not have the same comedic element but, just like Murray's character in the movie, Sam discovers that she can anticipate what is going to happen throughout the day and how little things she does can change how things play out.

Sam is not a very likeable character. She's one of the "Queen Bees" in the school, and she and her friends are the mean girls who make fun of and belittle other people. I thought Sam's behaviour in this regard was a bit surprising, because she was considered geeky and dorky when she was younger! I didn't expect that she'd treat others as badly as she had been treated. When Sam realizes that there are no consequences to her behaviour (because she still wakes up the following day and everything is "reset"), she does some outrageous things. Finally, she gets it and understands the reason why she keeps coming back.

I love the whole premise of the story, and it was nice to see Sam's character development. I admit, though, that it took me a while to warm to her. I intensely disliked her for probably more than half the book! I did enjoy this author's debut, and I'm looking forward to reading more from her.

After I finished reading this one, I immediately watched the 2017 film adaptation on Netflix. As is often the case, the book is better than the movie! Here's the trailer:


3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it.

This book qualifies as:

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