Genres: Young adult, contemporary.
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 imagined.
Unlike most other novels, the main character dies in the first chapter. This automatically makes for an interesting book because it is not often that you can enjoy a story while knowing what happens at the end.
There are many things I enjoyed about this novel, in particular:
1) I found Before I Fall to be extremely realistic. Lauren Oliver really understands teenagers, perhaps a lot more than they understand themselves. This, I think, is what makes Before I Fall stand out from other teenage novels.
2) I loved how the storyline was set out. When reading each chapter, we realise that the events in the story are linked together somehow but just like Samantha, we can’t quite figure out how they are linked. We learn more and more each day (literally – the chapters are set out as Day 1, Day 2 etc) and slowly come to understand how every move Samantha makes has an effect on someone else’s life. When we do find out at last it seems almost obvious but like real life we failed to notice the clues. Samantha’s death also becomes more and more emotional as she struggles to change her fate.
3) The relationship between Samantha and her sister Izzy. I am an only child and so it is generally hard for me to grasp how siblings feel about each other but while reading this book I felt like I really could understand. It was one of the main things that made the book so terribly sad.
Before I Fall has many beautiful and important things about it but I won’t lie and say that I enjoyed it more than Delirium, but then again, it is a completely different storyline.
P.S. This book is great to read to the Dear John score!
(There are more spoilers in my Goodreads review)
My Rating: ★★★★