Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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.

My thoughts:
Before I Fall is everything a novel should be. It is moving, inspiring, romantic, frustrating, heartbreakingly sad, and yet incredibly optimistic. Samantha might just be the most real girl I've ever read about in a YA novel, and I couldn't help but love her despite, or maybe because of, all her faults. Her actions are always very believable, if she's hanging out with her little sister or making fun of someone in the school cafeteria, and the amount she develops in just one week is nothing short of amazing. 

It was very refreshing to read about teenagers getting drunk, joking about a friend losing her virginity and smoking weed in the school bathroom, without any of the judgement that most authors always add on. Lauren Oliver is an amazing writer, and has managed to make Sam's story come alive in a way that made me unable to put the book down before I had read the last page. And even then, I still cried for a couple of minutes before getting on with my day.

Book trailer:

The cover:
Simple, yet very pretty.

My rating of this book:
5 stars out of 5

Want a second opinion? Check out these reviews written by some of my book blogging friends:

Want to know more?
Add Before I Fall to your Goodreads wishlist
Visit Lauren Oliver's website
Read Lauren Oliver's blog
Follow Lauren Oliver on Twitter

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Published: March 2nd 2010
Pages (hardcover): 472
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 006172680X (ISBN13: 9780061726804)
Full disclosure: Checked out at my local library

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and on-line book stores such as Amazon or The Book Depository (I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store does by the way have free shipping to about 100 countries.


  1. I hadn't heard of this before, although I have another of her books on my wishlist.

    I'll definitely be adding this one too though, it looks amazing.

  2. Considering how much I liked Delirium then I would certainly like to try this book too by her

  3. "It was very refreshing to read about teenagers getting drunk, joking about a friend losing her virginity and smoking weed in the school bathroom, without any of the judgement that most authors always add on."

    I love this. Why some authors need to condemn this in order to write about it is beyond me. This IS a part of teen life nowadays and to pretend it's not is just ridiculous.

    And this book is never going away, it seems. I have yet to read it, but EVERYBODY seems to love it. I gotta pick it up soon for sure.

  4. Wonderful review, Nina :) I have this book but I haven't read it. I'm a bit afraid that it might just be too sad.

    I don't mind alcohol and drugs in my YA books, I think it is a lot weirder trying to keep the fact that these things happens from teenagers. Unless they live under a rock they already know and reading about it in a book isn't what is harmful for them. I have never read a book where the message is "do drugs and drink, that is healthy and good for you".

    I believe trying to pretend that these things doesn't exists only makes it all that more interesting. Some young adults try these things, I mean why hide the truth.

    That being said I have always been very much against smoking and doing drugs(but come on books isn't the reason why some people try it). I have witnessed what drugs can do to a person and it's not anything positive.

  5. @Nicola & @Ladybug: That's what I love about how Oliver has portrayed teenage life in Before I Fall - she doesn't say "drugs are bad", she doesn't say "sex is bad", but lets the characters make these discoveries on their own, and that just makes it feel so much more real:)

  6. I thought this was a really interesting book. I don't condone drugs or drinking and driving or anything, but I agree with the other comments. I liked that the book showed consequences without being preachy.
    The only thing I wondered was which day was "real," if that makes sense.

  7. Thank you for the wonderful review. This book sounds like a really good read and I have added it to my wishlist.

  8. Very nice review. I'm adding this book to my TBR list. Thanks.

  9. Great review! This book sounds really good, and I like how it is about a "mean girl".
    Really looking forward to reading it one day!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)