Jessica Lawlor's Reviews > Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
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Dec 28, 10

bookshelves: read-in-2010
Read from December 19 to 28, 2010

You would think that reading the same day repeated in a book seven times would get boring after the third or fourth time, but Lauren Oliver expertly tells this story in a way that each day feels completely new- and like anything can happen. Like Sam can change the face of the future.

In a few reviews I read, some bloggers felt that Sam wasn’t a very likeable character in the beginning and as she began to grow and evolve, they began to like her more. I have to disagree. What I loved most about Sam is that to me, she seemed to be completely normal. Yes, she was in the popular crowd, but it was clear that her best friend was the queen bee, and she seemed to be the mean one. Sam was kind of guilty by association for her actions in my opinion. I thought Sam was completely relatable because, honestly, I think we’ve all been there. We’ve all made fun of someone. We’ve all gossiped behind someone’s back. But deep down, we know that’s not the person we’re supposed to be. We know it’s wrong. We accept that we’ve made bad choices. I think everyone can find a little bit of Sam in themselves. This is one of the reasons I found this book so powerful.

That brings me to the next thing I loved most about this book. It was intensely realistic. I truly believe that this book painted an accurate picture of what it’s like to be in high school today.It’s kind of unfortunate that this is the way things are, especially in the wake of several suicides from bullying, but if Oliver was trying to paint an accurate picture, she succeeded.

The secondary characters in this book play a huge role in the story. Throughout Sam’s seven days left on earth, we get to know the main players in her life pretty intimately. Though I could get behind Sam, even though she was kind of a mean girl, I couldn’t relate to her best friend Lindsay. I’m not sure as readers we were ever really supposed to like Lindsay though. One of my favorite secondary characters was Sam’s little sister. I thought it was really special when they were able to bond and Sam was able to get her closure that her sister would go on to have a good life.

What a beautifully haunting book that really made me stop and think about my actions. The whole time I was reading, I kept thinking about what I would do if I could go back and change the way I treated someone- or made the day a little brighter for someone else. It made me more aware of my current actions and motivated me to live an even better life.
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Reading Progress

12/19/2010 page 269
57.0% "So incredible. Can't put this down!"
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