young adult book reviews & more

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I FallSamantha Kingston’s life is perfect. She has everything from the looks to a coveted spot in the in crowd to a gorgeous and popular boyfriend. February 12 should be just another day in her life filled with school, friends, and family, but instead, by fate and bad decisions, it’s the day she dies. The thing is, though, even though Sam is dead, she wakes up the next day. But the deadly car crash was no bad dream and instead of being February 13, it’s still February 12, and Sam has to relive the last day of her life. And she does exactly that seven times, making small changes every day until she realizes what she needs to do because even if it’s too late to save herself, it’s not too late to save someone else.

Before I Fall is a unique and remarkable debut from Oliver. I’ve read a handful of books about teens having to come to terms with their own deaths once in some version of the afterlife, but I’ve never seen an afterlife in the form of reliving the last day of one’s life. It makes for a wonderful and moving read. It’s so interesting to watching Samantha cope with her own death and how anger, bargaining, and eventually acceptance influence her choices and actions as she relives the last day of her life. This whole story is just fantastically put together. The flashbacks interspaced within Samantha’s narration provide the necessary background for the complexities of this tragedy as needed. The reader will become invested in Samantha’s life and death because of how realistic Samantha’s character is; there will certainly be tears shed by the end of her tale.

I wholeheartedly recommend Oliver’s impressive debut to fans of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from Amazon Vine

4 munch(es) :

brandileigh2003 said...

Great review, thanks!

Serena said...

I don't read many YA novels, but this one sounds interesting...thanks for the review.

Raíla said...

One of the best reads of 2010 so far. Definitely. I loved Lauren's writing and I can't wait for Delirium now. Awesome review. :)

Jennifer said...

I enjoyed this book too. I just like happy endings and this one left me wanting a different ending.

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