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Before I Fall

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  204,673 Ratings  ·  15,101 Reviews
With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.

For popular high school senior Samantha
Paperback, Enhanced Edition, 470 pages
Published October 25th 2010 by HarperCollins (first published March 2nd 2010)
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Olya I guess it was actually Vicky's face back there. That sight of her made Sam realise how many lives she had actually damaged together with her friends…moreI guess it was actually Vicky's face back there. That sight of her made Sam realise how many lives she had actually damaged together with her friends and in some way made her start this redemption road we read about after that. Her story was never mentioned after that because they were all okay with her then. There was no point in changing somethingwith her, as bigger issues were awaiting.
However, it's just my opinion ;)(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Niki I always thought the mention of butterflies in the book was related to the "butterfly effect"--the idea that one little thing can change everything in…moreI always thought the mention of butterflies in the book was related to the "butterfly effect"--the idea that one little thing can change everything in a huge way. Her friend Ally also mentions she heard once that a burp can cause a thousand monarchs to take off halfway around the world (very much paraphrasing here; I couldn't find the quote online), but Sam refers back to this a few times throughout the book.

“It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It's never occurred to me before; I've never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different.”

The book is about choice and consequence, and how huge of an impact your actions may have on someone (i.e. Juliet) without you even realizing the severity. When she saves Juliet at the end of the book, death no longer scares her because she knows she died with purpose, and she is no longer haunted by the mistakes she made in her life or the hurt she caused people. So in that sense, she is freed. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kat Kennedy
Dec 20, 2011 Kat Kennedy rated it really liked it
I have to confess something before I write this review. This book is about a teenager, Sam, who is a Mean Girl who trips into Groundhog Day world and is set on a path to redemption. My confession is that I used to be a girl almost exactly like Sam.

Shallow, egotistical and worst of all - mean. Really, really mean.

I've commented before on the fact that I was a terrible teenager. My parents did not so much try to raise me through these years. More like they tried to survive me as you would a hurri
Emily May
Oct 21, 2015 Emily May rated it really liked it
I shiver, thinking about how easy it is to be totally wrong about people - to see one tiny part of them and confuse it for the whole.

4 1/2 stars. Back in 2010, I read Before I Fall and immediately thought I'd found a new favourite author. I eagerly awaited every book Lauren Oliver released after it and yet, I have disliked every single one. My dislike for her writing style in books like Rooms and Vanishing Girls made me wonder what happened.

Could it be that Oliver's style had so drastically c
Dec 20, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2010, ala-s-best-books
I hated this book, and loved it. It’s cruel, and frustrating, unfair, and yet it’s also sad, and hopeful, and honest and authentic. I’m not sure how everyone else feels about their High School experience, but I despised mine. You couldn’t pay me to go back. However, this story was so vivid, that I felt as though I could smell the grease from the cafeteria, feel the rough tile on the bathroom floor and the chill of that cold fateful night. I even cringed at the hurt that all these characters so c ...more
May 16, 2014 Penny rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Penny by:
Before I get to the review I just wanted to let everyone know I don't typically write reviews for books I love. The reason being, I'm not good at writing worth-while and positive reviews (as opposed to my uncanny ability to write crazy rants about books I totally loathe). Or rather, I know I'm not up to the task: writing a review worthy of a book so beautiful, so eloquently written I can't stop thinking about it long after I've finished it.

I know there is nothing I could say that could not be b
I'd heard from quite a few people that this book was pretty good...

That may be the most OUTRAGEOUS understatement of all time.

'Pretty good' doesn't explain the embarrassing amount of tears that poured out of me.

'Pretty good' doesn't touch on Lauren Oliver's incredible way with words and imagery.

'Pretty good' doesn't describe the range of conflicting emotions the story sparked in me.

And 'Pretty good' certainly doesn't account for the fact that, once I finished the final page, I literally threw t
Jun 06, 2011 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Warning: Major Spoilers below (including the very ending). And foul language. MUCH foul language

La la la, spoilers.

Still spoilers.

And language to make your grandmother blush.

Fuck you book. Fuck. You. I want to drop this book to two stars for that goddamn ending. But I can’t because even with that fucking ending it is not really a two-star book at all. So it gets dropped one star. DAMN YOU. I knew the ending was coming. This is the problem with reading the ending first (well, near the beginning).
Raeleen Lemay
Sep 04, 2016 Raeleen Lemay rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I honestly wanted to finish this book so it could go towards my 2012 reading challenge, but it was JUST SO BORING. I really couldn't care less what happened to the characters, and they were all so bitchy that I just couldn't stand reading about them anymore. I'm sure this Samantha girl will have some epiphany towards the end where she realizes that the way she's been treating people is wrong, then she'll finally move on and actually die like she should have a while ago. I don't see the point in ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Karolina rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya

I had high expectations for this book for 2 reasons: 1. I loved Delirium, it's one of my favorite series and 2. so many people raved about Before I fall , saying it is the best of Oliver's work. I couldn't disagree more. At the beginning I couldn't get into the story, it was a bit repetitive, so I had to put it down and read something else in the meantime. In the end I was getting a bit frustrated as I couldn't understand the whole idea of the book. Having finished it yesterday I've been thinkin
Jun 12, 2010 Annalisa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mild language, sexual content, and drug use
Recommended to Annalisa by: Penny
Reading through Sam's last day of life, I was transported back to high school with those girls who were shallow, self-centered, and unaware and thought they were cool and better than everyone else because they were shallow, self-centered, and unaware. I felt emotions I had not experienced in years, emotions I had long forgotten. Oliver captures that teenage-centric narcissism so vividly, so much more intently than I ever understood in high school, that I couldn't help but hate Sam and feel some ...more
Feb 09, 2011 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather, Ryan, Penny
Shelves: ya, 2010, ala-ya-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2011 karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya
well, well, well,
this one was a surprise.

yes, teen fiction, you have won me over, but usually it is the stuff on the "oh, no, the world has been essploded!!" or "oh, no - all the cats in the world have turned evil and are coming for us!!" end of the spectrum that captivates me.

realistic teen fiction usually leaves me cold.

and this is realistic teen fiction with a twist, obviously. this is groundhog day with a jerky teen girl in he jerky bill murray role. but all the day-to-day bits in between a
Goodreads Exclusive Prelude: If you have not read this, or given it at least four-and-a-half stars, you have no soul.

Oh . . . Oh, my God . . .

Five stars. Five billion stars. Five quadrillion stars. Five infinity stars.

I don't think I'll ever read a book that'll touch me in quite the same way.

A lot of Goodreadsers didn't like Before I Fall because they couldn't relate to it at all and the characters didn't relate to them. Before I Fall did relate to me because the main character, Samantha Kingsto
Mar 16, 2010 Tiffany rated it did not like it
I have no idea how to rate this book. I would say 5 stars to author Lauren Oliver in taking juveniles with a blatant disregard for humanity and turning it into the story of Sam who discovers the importance of humanity. Some of the thoughts that Sam would think as she would pass from one day to the next were beautifully thoughtful causing you to question how you treat and respect the people and things we have. How do we (ourselves) treat individual people? How much affect do we have on the world ...more

That would be my one word review for this book... WOW.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this up, and to say that I was utterly unprepared for it's magnificence, would be an understatement. This book evoked such strong emotion. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was bawling by the end of the story. For me, the stories that awaken your emotions are always the most powerful and memorable. And I don't read many books like that, so when I do, it tends to really stand out.

What's so in
Christine Delilah (Maramochabooks)
Update: Since it's going to be a movie I decided to re-visit my review and share my own story.

“I know some of you are thinking maybe I deserved it.
But before you start pointing fingers, is what I did really so bad? So bad I deserved to die? So bad I deserved to die like THAT?
Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does?
Is it really so much worse than what YOU do?
Think about it.”


Sam's got everything she's ever hoped for: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend, and everyon
Aj the Ravenous Reader

This is one of the first YA contemporaries I have read and perhaps for that alone, I’m already giving this five stars. But the truth is, this book well deserves it. Lauren Oliver’s writing usually has this effect on me. [Please see image for illustration.]

"Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through your fingers.
Aug 25, 2015 Anja rated it it was amazing

Wow. This book is beautiful. I actually really cried when it ended, and that doesn't happen a lot! I don't get why this book doesn't have higher ratings!
I found Before I Fall's concept really unique. It's about a popular girl, Samantha, who dies and gets to relive her last day seven times. This book could've ended up being really cliché but it really wasn't. You really get to see Samantha going through various stages like disbelief, anger, fear, realisation, rebelism and finally
Sep 15, 2015 Maureen rated it it was ok
This might be more of a 2.5 but idk.
I might have liked this better if I didn't listen to the audiobook for part of it, but the narrator just gave these girls attitude with their voices and I ended up picturing the characters as that and it was so bad.
Basically all the characters, especially Sam (not as much Kent) annoyed the crap out of me and I didn't really love the repetitiveness of the book (though that is the point). Most of the characters are terrible people. There is a bit of redemption,
Apr 03, 2010 Ash rated it really liked it
This is a hard book to rate. It’s in a whole different realm and I’m not sure what to do. It’s special. Not like in a good or bad way, but in a way that it’s different. You can’t compare it to anything else because…it isn’t like anything else. Yeah, I know I’m making a lot of sense. One thing that this does is make you feel and it makes you think.

Quick Overview: Samantha Kingston has everything a girl could want. She’s popular, has a hunky popular boyfriend, great friends, and there seems to be
Sep 30, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
Initial reaction: Heartbreakingly beautiful.

This was my first Lauren Oliver book and boy, did it deliver. It was such a conflicting read, both infuriating and heartbreaking. It started a bit rocky for me, because I did not. like. the protagonist. at. all. It was hard reading about the things she thought and did and at times, I had to force myself to keep going. But that was the aim of the book - to make the reader see and understand certain things, with everything coming full circle at the end.
Aug 10, 2010 Laini added it
Wow. On *day 7* and loving this book so much. I want to slurp it up like a noodle.

Finished: terrific; amazing teen voice and utterly believable characters -- the "mean girls" made, somehow, relatable! The story is so bittersweet, though I wished ...


... for a different ending for the characters (of COURSE), as a reader, I found the ending very powerful. The cumulative grief of those left behind -- left entirely to the reader
Mar 13, 2013 Giselle rated it it was amazing
Having heard numerous incredible reviews on this novel, I have finally jumped the this bandwagon and checked out what it was all about. Not disappointed in the least, this is one (rare) instance where my expectations has lived up to the hype. Before I Fall is a moving story of a girl who died, but she gets a second chance to make things right.

Samantha Kingston is the type of girl you either hate, or you're jealous of, in high school. She's pretty, popular, dating the hottest guy in school, and s
I went into this book rather anxiously--as many glowing reviews as it had received, I was pretty certain that reading about the same day over and over and over again was going to be a total drag. And boy, was I wrong or what?

First up I'm going to have to mention Lauren Oliver's STUNNING writing. It pretty much makes me want to give up writing, but at the same time makes me aspire to be a better one (if that makes any sense at all). The metaphors she constructs are absolutely beautiful, and even
Neil (or bleed)
"Sometimes, I'm afraid of what I'm leaving behind."

To be honest, I put Before I Fall on my TBR list because of one reason: February 12. Yes, it is my birth date and I know that was a lame reason in considering a book to read. But hell, I just did.

Before I Fall is not just a story of making out, hooking up, flirting, bullying, cutting classes, dumping boy/girl friends, partying, impressions, vices, fighting, school life and the like. It is a story that pictures the importance of one's life, lov
Mar 31, 2013 Jessi rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
After reading Delirium (one of my favorite novels of the year) I'd been excited to read more from Lauren Oliver, but perhaps my expectations were too high. Repetition is a major theme as Samantha, the main character, loops through time to "relive" (so to say) her last day on Earth, but I thought her musings to be repetitive drudgery and found myself counting the days, literally.

Maybe this feeling of going around in circles is because I've read this book before. I'm pretty sure I've seen the mov
Jan 25, 2013 kris rated it really liked it
What was that??

So many feelings

“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”

I'm feeling devastated !!!

How would you feel if you re-lived your last day 7 times? What would you do? What would you change??
Oct 05, 2011 thewanderingjew rated it really liked it
The author is young, not far from being a teen herself which probably accounts for her acute recall of the kind of behavior she explores in her book. She does it so well that the pages turn themselves. I am a senior citizen and my high school days came flooding back with memories of the "mean" girls in my school, although "mean" and/or popular girls then, were vastly different from their counterparts today. Today, the bullying behavior is more apparent, at even younger ages, for boys and girls. ...more
Ava Oceana
Nov 28, 2012 Ava Oceana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like beautiful books
Recommended to Ava Oceana by: all of y'all (did I really just say that?)
Proper, coherent review coming soon. Lauren Oliver is amazingly thoughtful and sweet and BEFORE I FALL is beautiful.


That is a signed French copy of BEFORE I FALL, and it has a note in it. A note that almost, almost, almooooost brought tears to my eyes, before I realized that would be really creepy and stopped. My father found Lauren at a book signing in Paris and she sort of knew me from the billion tweets I sent her. I am also not going to tell you what the note says, either. Sorry. :D

(9 3/4) Gerasimos
Aug 13, 2015 (9 3/4) Gerasimos rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I love Lauren Oliver. After I read Delirium (that I absolutely fell in love with) I had to read this! At first I was hesitant about it, but after a few chapters I started enjoying it.

The beginning was a little bit slow, but then the plot picks up leading into a heartbreaking conclusion!

A story about grief, death and loss that provides the reader with food for thought.
Katerina Kondrenko
10 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Zucchero – Change your heart
Shinedown – Second Chance
Tim McMorris – Life is Beautiful

Genre: contemp, YA, magic realism
Stuff: teens, school, death,Groundhog Day
WOW: writing
POV: 1st person, female
Love-Geometry: light

“So many things become beautiful when you re
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Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of content development company Paper Lantern Lit. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica and Lauren's bestselling first novel, Before I Fall, were acquire ...more
More about Lauren Oliver...

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“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”
“So many things become beautiful when you really look.” 3048 likes
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