Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver


Young Adult > Contemporary | Fantasy

What if you only had 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 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death–and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Literary Awards: Romantic Times (RT) Reviewers’ Choice Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy Novel (2010), Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction, Debut Author, Nominee for Goodreads Author, Favorite Heroine (2010), YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011), Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of the Year for Fiction (2010)


…and here I thought I finally got tired of Lauren Oliver’s writing… but I’m glad to have read Before I Fall. =)

There are 7 chapters, one for each day that Samantha Emily Kingston gets to live again. Let me tell you that each chapter is very long, thus the book is thick. Which discouraged me to finish at first, because contemporary books should never be this long. Right?

Chapters 1-5 are not interesting. Chapters 6-7 however, these are different. In fact, these made up the 4-star-rating I have up there. Sam’s realizations made me think, made me ponder on how the lives of people around me are affected even by my little actions (or inactions).

If you have 7 chances to live one day in your life, what would it be? Sam didn’t get to choose the day, but she did everything, anything to get out of the weird time loop. When she’s on her 5th or 6th day of repeat, she wondered: perhaps she’s not meant to save her own life..?

Oliver’s writing is not as impressive to me in Before I Fall, but the emotions are still there. Want. Cruelty. Guilt. Selflessness. Redemption. There are reasons why mean girls are mean.

It was a heartbreak to know that the fleeting moments Sam had with Kent McFuller are just that: fleeting. Their story was tender and sweet when wrapped up in the end.

Before I Fall is not on top of my Lauren Oliver books, but the last two chapters got me reading and re-reading those exchanges between Sam and Kent. *sigh* Yes, I’m mushy like that.


BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver

Paperback, 470 pages

Published October 25th 2011 by HarperCollins

4/5 stars


6 thoughts on “Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

  1. This book made it into my best of 2012 reads. And also because of how it too, made me think about life and the whole cause and effect of actions.

    And yes to Sam and Kent! *sighs back* 🙂

  2. I definitely agree, Chapter 6 and 7 were probably the best chapters in the book. I think I liked 6 more than 7 because there was so much raw honesty in that one. I think that’s when you really got to know Juliet. My only complaint was the ending wasn’t really what I hoped it would be. Other than that it was a great book. Great Review!

    • Yay, thank you your for your affirmation! I agree with the ending, not to my satisfaction, either. it’s funny, I started reading this bored and irritated. come chapter 6, then 7, and i’m smiling albeit forlorn. Ha!

      • I definitely didn’t like Lindsey. I couldn’t understand how she couldn’t see how horrible she was being. But it was a good book, it applies a lot to what’s going on with kids and bullying these days.

  3. Pingback: Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels | reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

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