Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall is one of those books that I hear nothing but great things about. People have raved about this book and continue to do so. A friend and I are always asking whether the other person has read a certain book or not and every time I scolded them for not reading a certain book, they’d say, “Well, have you read Before I Fall yet?” And then I grin and shake my head. Well, even though it took me a while, I can now say I have read it.
First of all, the plot of Before I Fall is what really grabbed me from the start. The idea of reliving your last day intrigued me and I have often wondered what I would do if I got to relive mine. Overall, I thought the plot remained intriguing and engaging. Although Sam relives her last day over and over (seven times to be exact), Ms. Oliver made each day different by bringing different people and events to the forefront.
I admit that I hated Sam in the beginning. In the beginning, she’s the kind of girl I dislike and have tried my best to steer clear of. She’s a heartless bully who is only concerned about what other people think of her. Still, I applaud Ms. Oliver for creating a character that can evoke such a strong dislike from me. As the story progresses and Sam realizes what’s happening, she begins to grow as a person. Her change of heart isn’t an overnight change, but a natural, progressive, and believable one. In the end, I grew quite fond of her.
The character that I absolutely loved is Kent, Sam’s long-time admirer. He sees through Sam’s façade and knows that deep down, she isn’t the mean girl. His interactions with Sam are sweet and heartwarming.
I enjoyed Lauren Oliver’s writing, too. It’s descriptive, fluid, and engaging. She has given Sam an extremely authentic and believable teen voice. Ms. Oliver made each day fresh and as I said earlier, I love how she shifted the focus to different people, actions, and illustrated the tiniest of changes in Sam’s actions triggered a reaction.
In the end, I really liked Before I Fall. I am so glad I read it and I can see why people have fallen in with it. I urge people to read this novel and to check out Lauren Oliver’s blog, where she posts about writing and other musings. And don’t forget to check out her upcoming novel, Delirium!
(cover image taken from Barnes and Nobles’ website)