Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Rating: 4 stars.6482837.jpg

Short Summary: Teen mystery thriller revolving around the life of Samantha Kingston, one of the most popular girls in school, waking up and replaying the same day where she sees that even the smallest of changes have life and death altering consequences.

So this is one of these books that I started years ago, quit, gave one star to and swore I wouldn’t pick up again. Why? I hated the main character at the beginning of the novel. I hated her so much I really couldn’t stomach the idea of spending a whole book listening to her self-absorbed horribly bitchy voice.

So what made me change my mind? Well, for one thing, I’ve read quite a few of Lauren Oliver’s books, most of which I’ve really enjoyed, so it always nagged at me, was I really right in dropping this book so soon? Even a friend of mine told me that this was her favourite of Oliver’s books (a friend with a pretty reputable book radar). I’d seen it on the shelf at my library, and it just turned into that book I never really connected with. But what really changed my mind? I’m totally ashamed to admit this, but it was the trailer for the film.

After having enjoyed her book Vanishing Girls, the trailer made me really second guess my opinion on this book, and that what I had initially thought was all wrong. Of course, starting from the beginning, I felt it again, that awful “I can’t stand this main character” feeling, but I forced myself through and I was so glad that I did.

It is a very character driven book and the way that Oliver puts these pieces together of this world, the many views and facets that we see of this day done over is really well done. You’d think with the excessive repetition with each day, it would get a little redundant but it kept me so captivated to watch Sam make all of these different choices to see what they did. I loved how we learned more about each of the characters in the book a little more, a little differently, each day in different ways. I loved Sam’s growing awareness of all aspects of her life, sensory and otherwise. She was also a character I did in fact grow to like.

Recommendations: It is a solid teen thriller with some mature content (drugs, alcohol, and some sexually suggestive material). I’d call it a realistic fiction with a twist and very worthwhile if you like something a little darker.


About K2Harvey

Reading, and writing about it.
This entry was posted in Literature, mystery, realistic fiction, romance, YA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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