Review: Before I Fall

Before I Fall

Before I Fall
By Lauren Oliver
(HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780061726804, March 2010, 480pp.)

The Short of It:

Absolutely riveting, from beginning to end.

The Rest of It:

After dying in a car accident, Samantha Kingston is forced to relive her last day a total of seven times. As repetitive as this sounds, each day is slightly different, and with her being a popular high school student, there are lots of choices to make. Some good, some bad and some with horrible consequences.

Realizing that I would be taken through her last day over and over again, I worried that it would be a bit like that movie Groundhog Day, where the main character was forced to repeat his day again and again (I really didn’t like that movie), but Oliver manages to keep it interesting. I could not put it down and sped through it in just a couple of sittings.

Samantha is a popular girl and runs with a fast crowd. There is a lot of drinking, and sex is THE big topic of discussion, but if you are able to put that aside, you’ll see Before I Fall for what it is, an absolutely riveting read about living life to its fullest.

Would I let my daughter read it? The Girl is only seven, but if she were thirteen or fourteen, I’d have no problem with her reading it. It brings up issues that teens face every day: underage drinking, sex, eating disorders, popularity and being different. I don’t think it hurts for young girls to think about these things. In fact, I think it helps them make better decisions in the long run. I think male readers would find value in reading it as well.

That said, once you start this book you will not be able to put it down and although it’s certainly geared towards young adults, older readers will find it just as readable. Highly recommend.

Source: Borrowed

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20 thoughts on “Review: Before I Fall”

  1. I’ve been hearing so much about this one. I once borrowed it from the library but didn’t get to read it. I’m hoping to check it out some time.

  2. I did let my 13 year old read it. As much as we’d like them to be sheltered from all of this, it is impossible. Better to just have the tough conversations with them so they will be prepared to deal with it. It is a total compulsive read. So glad you read it and loved it! Yay! Now of course you will want to read Oliver’s Delirium.

  3. I’ve seen such enthusiastic reviews for this book — I’ll have to get it — I do like YA now and then — and I like the premise! (Esp since it’s not, as you say, just a reinvention of Groundhog’s Day.)

    1. Oliver did a great job with it. I would have lost it keeping track of all the details, but she kept it all straight and fresh at the same time.

  4. Well that does it! Im going to go and pull this up on my eReader and make time for it. I love your enthusiasm for this book, not to mention that it sounds fantastic!

  5. I’ve been on the fence about reading this as it sounds like a tough read. I have an ARC copy of Delirium so I really should read this one first. I have to be in the right mindset to read some of the YA books that address these challenging topics.

  6. I loved this book, despite the fact that it was a bit repetitive at times. My stepdaughter is eleven, but were she a few years older I would certainly let her read this one, because the message is very powerful.

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