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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I FallBefore I Fall
by Lauren Oliver
Released: March 2nd 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Purchase: Amazon
*I purchased the hardcover from Amazon.

Synopsis via Goodreads:
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

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.

I have such a hard time writing this review because I can't seem to find the right words to put together to describe just how much Before I fall had me all messed up. Oh my gosh, what a wonderful, interesting, thought-provoking, realistic, and addictive story. Lauren, I send you tons of smooches. 

Can you believe I actually HATED Sam with a passion at start. She, along with her friend, Lindsay (and I say Lindsay because it seemed like she was the ringleader and Sam was the main assistant) spoke hurtful things, did hurtful things without considering the consequences of their action and I thought that Sam, more than anyone else should understand the emotional effect of being teased. It sucks that it took her several tries to finally get it right but Lauren gave us the true definition of what character development really is. I mean, at first I wanted to smack her so hard for wasting the opportunities to make a difference, to clean up her act and if possible get her friends to stop but she just kept doing it like a moron. Oddly, though, I couldn't stop reading because it wasn't like I hated Sam's character enough to dislike the story and give the book a DNF. I really liked the fact that she wasn't the average protagonist and she was actually experiencing growth like a normal person. Besides, it wasn't like she could do much to affect anyone around her aside from Juliet. The whole thing with Juliet was quite an eye opener. I was like "ohhhh" once I figured out what really caused the accident and all the twists and loose ends came in to play. 

The writing was superb. I got so emotional throughout until finally, I started liking Sam. In fact, by the end of the story I LOVED her. She knew what had to be done and she was determined to go through with it. Sam came to the realization that everything isn't always about her, that you have to put self aside and see the beauty in everything and everyone else. There was much more to be learned from the story, and so much I thought about while reading it. Lauren really struck a nerve with me. Once again, smooches. 

What else can I go on about? I loved the romance, the family aspect, the friendship level and all the bad and good in it. The neverending issue of bullying and its effects. Most of all, I loved how every single character had a purpose. No one was just thrown in or had me asking "why are you here?" They all made sense. What a terrific book. Sucks for me that I'm only now reading it when I love this author and her intriguing writing style. 

*Slapscheek* Okay, back to reality and more substantial statements. I enjoyed Before I fall. The writing was brilliant; the plot was fascinating. I experienced a feeling like no other, and its definitely a feeling that will haunt me forever. Wouldn't you want to experience something as impressive as this? Oh, that's right. You have already :)


  1. I loved this book too. I actually listened to the audio of it (the narrator was fabulous) and I'm glad I did. She put so much emotion into the book and it really had so much more affect on me I think. I know at points I had tears streaming down my face while listening. I liked that Sam wasn't likeable at first, but really grew in the end. It was very realistic that she wouldn't just change overnight. Awesome review!

    1. Thank you. Glad you "experienced" the emotion I was trying to interpret :)

  2. I can never turn away from a mystery!!!

  3. I love it and hate it soooo much when you have such strong feelings for a book that you have difficulty writing a review. That alone speaks volumes. I can't wait to read this one!! I don't know why it's taken me so long, other than the whole time aspect, but I've been soooo eager to read this since its release. Thanks for the review! :)

    1. I can relate. Hope you get the time to read it very soon :) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I loved the writing too. Like you, Sam really got to me at first, but then I saw her changing.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. Yea, I think that's what makes the story sooooo great!

  5. I'm so happy I got a copy of this book a while ago. It sounds great to me and I hope to pick it up soon! Nice review Shane :)


  6. I'm glad that you warmed up to Sam! I read this a year ago, I think, so I don't remember a lot about it, but I do remember thinking the writing and character development was fantastic, as well :) I'm glad that you loved this one so much, fantastic review Shane!

  7. I've heard such wonderful things about Before I Fall. And I loved that you addressed character growth. We often criticize teens in these books, but the teenage years are all about messing up and (hopefully) learning from mistakes.
    Beautuful review, Shane!

  8. I have enjoyed Oliver's other work, so I am going to have to see if I can get this one. It sounds really good. Wonderful review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  9. Great review. I haven't read this yet, but one day I will get t it. It sounds wonderful.

  10. I love Lauren Oliver! She is my favorite YA author. I know what you mean about this book haunting you. I cried my eyes out when I read this. It's such a beautiful story with so many life lessons, and I agree Sam's character growth was amazing. I think it would be a great book for high school students to read. Excellent Review Shane! I don't know how you were able to write such a thorough review without any spoilers! That takes some major talent.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  11. Great review! Ive been meaning to read this for the longest time but I always end up reading something else.

    Sanah @

  12. I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are incredible! Thanks!

  13. This is the one Lauren Oliver book I haven't read yet, but I really need to! I've heard from many people that they hated the MC in the beginning and loved her in the end so that's interesting!


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