Review: Before I Fall

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins (2010)
Genre: young adult, mainstream fiction, suspense, touch of magical realism

In Their Words:
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day 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.

In Mine:
Of all the books I read on my vacation, Before I Fall was my favorite. And I read some great stuff, so that’s saying a lot. The pacing is amazing. At first, we’re given little reason to care about the side characters, but soon we’re as involved in their lives, their failures, their mistakes, as Samantha herself. The story is about so much more than just Samantha. It’s about how everything’s connected, about how the right choice isn’t always obvious or easy.

One of my favorite things about the book is its sympathetic and realistic depiction of the “popular crowd.” They’re not perfect. They’re not just bitches, “frenemies,” and soulless bimbos. They’re real teenagers.

Samantha is a great character. Her reaction to her situation feels very believable, and as the book unfolds, each day revealing a different layer to her death, Samantha’s transformation feels very genuine.

Overall? Loved it.

I love the cover. It’s actually one of the things that drew me to the book, and the subtle dab of color (the green eyes, reflecting off the grass), is actually drawn from the book itself. You can tell the designer did  their homework.

Final Rating:
5/5. Loved it!

About Lucy

If you want to get fancy, Lucy lives in Portland, OR, and has a MA in Writing/Book Publishing, with a focus on Young Adult Literature, and a heaping disregard for literary snobbishness (she was an English Major–she’s seen and spouted her fair share). She works as a social media marketer, and has dabbled in developmental editing as a freelancer.
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