Book Report: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
March 2010
Publisher: Harper Collins
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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.

My Thoughts

Maybe it’s too early in the year to tell, but Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver just might be my favorite read of 2012. Yeah, yeah, I realize it’s only four months into the year. But, Before I Fall is that good of a book!

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver made me feel an array of emotions. Isn’t it amazing when books can do that? At first I was angry and annoyed with the main character, Sam Kingston. She seemed so much like the selfish and entitled brats that annoyed me when I was in high school. But, despite that I wouldn’t wish Sam Kingston’s fate on anyone– to live her last day on earth over and over again. As each day passed, Sam Kingston learns about herself, about her friends, and about the people she alienates. And, as each day passed, I found myself becoming more and more sympathetic to this girl I initially deemed shallow and mean. As each day passed, part of me started feeling angry and frustrated and sad about all of the obstacles Sam had to face– friends, family, the kids she alienated, love and heart-break, all of it! I just wanted Sam to find peace and happiness.

The tone of Before I Fall is very bittersweet. There were moments in the book that made me smile– like when Sam returns to her childhood secret spot, and she invites her little sister to tag along. It was an endearing moment, but considering the circumstances, I couldn’t help feeling sad. So sad, in fact, that Before I Fall will go down in my personal history as the second book ever to make me cry. (While the rest of my 6th grade class was weeping at the end of Where the Red Fern Grows, I was the only one with dry eyes. Even the boys cried! And, I didn’t even cry during any of the Harry Potter books.) And, Lauren Oliver’s writing was a perfect match for Sam Kingston’s story. It was beautiful and poetic (yet, Sam’s voice still seemed genuine), and that probably played a role in making my eyes tear up.

Before I Fall was amazing. It’s a shame this was the second book I read of 2012. It sets a pretty high standard for the rest of the books I will read this year.