Bonnie's Reviews > Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
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Apr 20, 10

bookshelves: high-school, young-adult, teen, death, bullying, coming-of-age, fiction, page-turner, realistic-fiction, suicide, depression, romance
Read from March 29 to April 17, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Samantha Kingston has it all - she's one of the most popular girls in school, she has the best group of friends, the boyfriend she's always wanted, and the ability to get away with just about anything. Sam knows that life isn't always fair. After all, she used to be on the lowest rung of the social order until the day Lindsay Edgecomb became her best friend and pulled her to the top. Sam accepts that this is the way high school works, the way her life will be, even if it means that other people get hurt in the process. And then, on Friday, February 12th, Sam is killed in a car crash, on her way home from a party.

Sam wakes up in her own bed, alive, and the day rewound. She gets a chance to do it all over again. And again. And again. Sam doesn't know if she's stuck reliving February 12th for all eternity, if there's a way out, or if the changes she makes, to her life and the lives of her friends and family, will make any difference.

Before I Fall Before I Fall is the sort of book you hate to even put down. Sam isn't someone that you start off liking... she's cruel, manipulative, and has changed herself into a person that she hardly even knows. However, you also feel for Sam because, as she points out, is her day-to-day behavior really a reason for her to die? To miss out on all the things in life that happen after you turn 18? As Sam's days pass, she discovers things about life she had forgotten or never even knew were there, like the joys of eating roast beef sandwiches (not done in her social circle), staying at home with her little sister and watching movies all day, wearing comfortable shoes, or eating The Country's Best Yogurt with her best friend. This is a book that shows high school at its best and its worst, including the bullying and cruelty that goes on and how people justify it until it seems like what they're doing isn't really so bad.

We get to see how Sam approaches each Friday differently and how she herself changes and takes on the social mores of high school and other teens. The writing is amazing, capturing Sam's life perfectly. You want so badly for her to succeed, even though you know that Sam's the girl who would've made you an outcast in school. You root for her to change and to understand why her decisions, even with the best of intentions, have the impact that they do.

I can't say enough good things about this book. If I had anything negative to say, it's that I didn't really like the ending. That doesn't mean it wasn't a good ending, but that I thought something different would happen. This is going to be one that I recommend a lot.
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Reading Progress

03/29/2010 page 43
8.78%

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