Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kimberly reviews Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Book/Author: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: Harper Teen 2010
How I Got It: I got it from my Secret Santa
Rating: 4.5 stars

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 read this book in one day. It was the Sunday after finals and I was worn out, so I decided to stay in bed all day and read. (It was a wonderful day!) I wasn’t sure at first what to think of this book. I started off absolutely hating Samantha. She was so selfish. She did things that were downright cruel and thought that it was the right thing to do, as if it was her job to do those things because she was popular. Then her life takes a turn, rather literally. I watched as she went from that unlikable character to a character that I genuinely liked.

It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster to read. The author really drew me in, I was experiencing all of the events of the book right along with Samantha, the ups and the downs. I finished the book feeling rather satisfied. I was surprised by the ending, but pleased. I’m really not sure what else I can tell you about the book, it’s one of those that you have to read to experience for yourself. The author has such a unique way of capturing true human emotions that you can’t help but be sucked into the book!

Overall, it was a Sunday well spent. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy YA, or are looking for a book with really excellent character development.

4.5 Stars


  1. I agree. The characters were developed really well in this one. Nice review!

  2. I have this book sitting on my shelf. I got to meet Lauren at the Brooklyn Book Fest and hear her read from this one so I'm really excited to get to it..especially since it was on SO many people's favorites from 2010!

  3. This was one of my favorite books last year, so glad you liked it as well! Totally agree with you that Sam grows on you as a character.

  4. I really want to get my hands on a copy of this book. It sounds so good! Great Review.

  5. Fantastic review, and I love a book with good character development - thanks for the recommendation!

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  6. One of my favs for 2010. I listened to it as an audio book and it was beautiful.

  7. I utterly adored this book as well - it would definitely be one of my top for 2010. Like you, I really hated Sam for the first few days, but as I got to know her and her friends, I just loved her. I ended up going from hating Sam, to bawling my eyes out at the end of the book! That's the sign of a great author.

    Great review!

  8. I loved this book too! Great review!

  9. Great review! This sounds like a really good book. I went to Barnes and Noble and read more information about it and decided that it's definitely going on my TBR List!!!

  10. This has been on my TBR list for quite a long time. Then I read Lauren Oliver's new book, Delirium, which seemed to drown me with overwrought sentences and too much time inside the MC's head. It took me a week to read, vs. the day or two in which I usually finish a book. So now I'm a little weary of having the same experience a second time. I've heard a lot of good things about this book though. So I'm conflicted!

  11. Oliver has instantly become one of my favorite authors. Her writing is beautiful. I am glad you enjoyed this one. :)

  12. I tried so hard to read this book. I finally gave up at page 185 when I realized that I was doing math to find out how many pages were left in the book after every single page. I just couldn't get over her self-centered personality and didn't care for the stream-of-consciousness writing style. Glad you enjoyed it. I know I am in the minority.

    Here from the Comment Exchange Program.

  13. Here from the Comment Exchange Program!

    I loved Before I Fall, but it took me a while. I'm with you - I absolutely DESPISED Samantha for the first long chunk of the book. It was really cool to see her turn into someone that I actually cared about :) Great review!

  14. I couldn't put this one down. I thought it was really well done.


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