Like so many of my books, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver was one I found randomly at the thrift store and thought it sounded interesting so I bought it. I remember hearing about this book before but I just never looked into it. I went into this feeling pretty skeptical about how much I would enjoy it but I was very pleasantly surprised. I’ll get more into my thoughts after the synopsis. This review will have spoilers.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam 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 ever imagined.
Before I Fall doesn’t have the most unique storyline in the world. I know of a few different books and movies that are basically the same idea but I personally had never read/watched any of them. I started this book not expecting much. I figured it would be a typical YA drama with basic characters that ended up with our main character growing as a person in some way and saving her own life….but that wasn’t the case. The characters in this book actually had some depth. The main character, Samantha Kingston, is really relatable. Like many girls in high school, Samantha would do just about anything to be popular. She had to change who she was but in doing that she gained her popular friends and the guy she always wanted. However, as she learns, sometimes trying to fit in causes you to lose yourself and the people that you need in your life. I also liked her friends. They were all flawed characters with unique storylines and I feel that that is sometimes missing in YA.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
The ending of this book really shocked me. I figured that as Samantha relived the day of her death she would eventually figure out how to stop it. She would learn whatever lesson she needed to learn, become a better person and then live the rest of her life with the unbelievably precious Kent McFuller but that’s not what happens. She ends up actually dying. This is made even more heartbreaking by the fact that through this process of reliving the day of her death repeatedly she’s became such an amazing person. She learns what’s truly important in life, like family and not judging people based on how “weird” they are. I’m a sucker for a happy ending and this book definitely didn’t have one.
I highly recommend this book. It does have it’s cringy, teenage drama moments but I mean it’s YA so that’s expected. If you’ve read this book, what did you think about? If you haven’t read it, does it sound interesting to you? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!