Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I feel like writing a review of this book is a huge injustice; there isn’t anything I can say about its greatness that could ever properly sum up how great it is. But, hey, I have this blog and I have you reading it, so I s’pose I’ll give it a try J

This book is great. Stunning. Amazing. Beautiful. Powerful. Touching. Provocative. Insightful. Every other complimentary adjective ever.

The blurb, from Goodreads:
“Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.
The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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.

What the blurb doesn’t mention, however, is that Samantha is a bitch.

There, I said it.

Samantha and her three best friends are the mean girls in school. And while I’d like to say that their horrible behavior alienated me as a reader, it didn’t. It fascinated me. Call me a sadist. Whatever. Still, I can see how others might find Samantha difficult to relate to in the beginning.


Samantha’s growth as a character is such that anyone who once found her horrible will undoubtedly become Samantha Sympathizers. Each day she wakes up and is forced to relive the day of her death over again, Samantha learns more about her friends, herself, and what’s important in life. Which sounds cheesy when I say it like that (precisely why I shouldn’t write reviews), but just trust me when I say that it’s not. Same goes for Samantha’s bitchy friends. If you don’t sympathize with them by the end of the book, you’ll at least understand why they are the way they are.

Five things I love about Before I Fall:

1.     The AMAZING writing. Lauren Oliver is an incredibly talented author. Her descriptions are so beyond fantastic they almost, nearly encouraged me to give up writing YA forever and seriously pursue a career in board books for babies.

2.     The humor. Yes, I said the humor. It’s spot-on and fresh and laugh-out-loud funny.

3.     The characters. Every single one, from supporting to very, very minor, was authentic if not fully fleshed out.

4.     Kent McFuller.

5.     It was painful (in a good way). Samantha’s transformation is seriously heartbreaking. As in, my husband entered the room when I was reading the final pages and was convinced I’d just heard horrible news, like that Tostitos was discontinuing its Chunky Salsa line. Nope, just finished this awesome book.  

But really, I could have just said this:

It’s Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls. Except awesomer. 


  1. It took me until 70% in before I actually liked Sam! That didn't stop me from thinking this was a pretty incredible book though. Masterful writing, and yes, I was jealous :P

    Consider Kent McFuller added to my list of lovely inappropriate book crush boys.

  2. I can't wait to read this book. I've already bought it and it's sitting on my Kindle, behind 'Eve', 'Die for me', and 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone'. Then I will read 'Before I Fall'. Might bump it up the list after this review, though.

    1. Yes!! It deserves a bump to the top of the list. TRUST!

  3. Oooh, I can't wait to read this one! Cool concept

  4. Loved your review. I read BEFORE I FALL last year, and I was impressed by how Lauren Oliver made each day stand out.

    1. Thanks, Steph! And I couldn't agree more. About Lauren Oliver, I mean, not about my review :P

  5. This book made me cry on the elliptical in my office gym. Unashamedly. While my coworkers looked on in shock. Yup, it's definitely that good, especially considering that I hated Sam for most of the book!

    Loved your review!

  6. just finished reading this book, i love your review :)