Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Posted 8 November, 2010 by Danny in / 9 Comments

by Lauren Oliver
Published: March 2, 2010
Links: Anderson’s Bookshop (my local indie)
Amazon (available as Kindle edition)
Audiobook borrowed from library
Synopsis from 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—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.


I was worried when I first started this book. It came so highly lauded, everyone gave it such high ratings, that I went into it expecting to fall in love with these characters on the very first page. Well, the end of Samantha’s first telling of the day she died and I have to say, I didn’t even feel sorry for her! Samantha was a spoiled, over-priveleged girl who died in a car wreck after spending a day being kind of a bitch. I was wondering if maybe I should put this book aside and move on to something more fun.

Then I went to Goodreads and actually read some of the reviews there (normally I don’t do this for a book I’m planning on reading because I like to go knowing next to nothing about a book – and yes, this is ironic since I write reviews) to see what it was precisely all these people LOVED about this book. And what I read was that Samantha grows over the course of the novel. So I trudged on.

Well I wasn’t trudging for long before I saw a glimmer of hope for this girl and her friends, girls who had good points that began to outweigh their many immature points. And Sam really does grow over the course of the book as she searches for the reason why she’s reliving her death day over and over again. The other characters in this book grow as well and by the end I had fallen in love with Sam, the boy who she comes to love and so many of the other characters in this book, particularly her younger sister, Izzy.

Bottom Line

Even thought it was a rough start, I was sobbing by the end of this book, so sad for the loss of so many possibilities but so happy to see the Samantha was able to mature into some measure of the woman she should have had a chance to become.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 books!
Final Notes

Lauren Oliver has a new book, this time the start of a series, coming out this February.

Delirium, a sci-fi look at life without the drama of love and what happens when one “catches” the disease, is the first in what is set to be a three book series set in this world. It’s been getting fantastic reviews and is shaping up to be one of the hottest releases of 2011, so keep your eye out for it in a store near you.

Now go and get lost…in a book!

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9 Responses to “Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver”

  1. I've read Before I fall, and just like you I didnt get what it was all about at first, but a bunch of my friends had said it was really good, so I read on, and again like you I ended up really liking the book. The characters get more complex as you go which makes them grow on you.

    Great review!
    My recent post Hottie of the week 8-12 Nov 10

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  2. A Canadian Girl

    Loved this book! It makes you really realize how even the tiniest actions have consequences and that we're all just connected to each other.

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