Book Review: Before I Fall

You know when you walk into a bookstore, glance at the stack of books on the tables, wander through shelves, walk back to the tables...and then you see it, -that dust jacket that calls to you?  You pick it up, turn your fingers over the front cover, through the blurb, and flick through the first few pages before committing to buying it.  Something about the dust jacket got me interested; the blurb pulled me in further.   What would you do if you knew that today was the last day of your life?

The whole concept of knowing when you are going to die -deciding how you would spend that last day, -really clicked with me.

Sam Kingston, is 17 years old, lives with her family in a small town in Connecticut, she belongs to a popular clique at her school and the story evolves around her,-her group of friends, her family, and the last day of her life...which just happens to be Valentines Day, being played through over, and over.  I have to be honest, after the first chapter I immediately thought of 'Mean Girls', 'Heathers', and, 'Ground Hog Day'.  You cannot help the comparisons.  It took me a couple of chapters before I really got hooked and then, - well I couldn't put the book down.

The story opens up slowly like a flower, it reaches out and wraps you up in its petals.  Through dying, Sam discovers her own flaws, and that of her clique, that being popular isn't the most important thing in life - that her friends aren't perfect, that doing the right thing means being true to yourself.  Mid-way through the book, I realised that this wasn't just another YA novel, there was more to the plot than just a high school love story, you will have to read it to understand that.  There's a tightening of the heartstrings too - the little snippets about her relationship with her sister had me in tears, as did her subtle attempts to make good with her mother.  And the make-out scenes with her old friend Kent? -Well, they just made me smile.  And here's the other thing about this book - you keep willing Sam on to do the right thing - and you hold your breath towards the end, not knowing if she dies or gets a reprieve.

Lauren Oliver has really written a great YA story here, I recommend this to anyone who is a YA reader or writer, and even if you're not -my advice is stick with it, you may be pleasantly surprised.  The ending is worth it.   

Before I Fall is available on and you can find Lauren Oliver here

A/N:  Less than 28 days till Christmas - can you feel the excitement building? This week is going to be a Book Review Week for me.    Happy Monday Lovelies!


  1. I don't read a lot of YA, but the movies are a secret love of mine. Shh, don't tell anyone.

  2. Absolutely fell in love with this one. The writing, the message--everything. Great review!

  3. Talei please tell me secretly if she dies or not, I have to know b4 I buy it.

  4. I've been wanting to read this book; thanks for the review :)

  5. I read that book recently--Sam never appealed to me; I was irritated toward for the entire book, but I do like the concept of being stuck in the same day, over and over again. I've never heard of something like that in YA before.

  6. Tara, I think this one could be a movie. It's well suited to being one definitely.

    Meredith, thanks. It took me awhile to get into it, but I enjoyed it too. ;)

    Jo, I can't tell you that. LOL, it'll spoil the whole book for you.

    Mshatch, thank you. If you like YA, I think you'll enjoy this one.

    Golden Eagle, I did like the concept of being stuck in the last day of your life, and trying to figure how to fix things. I think that kept me reading. ;)

  7. I have to say that usually books about death frighten me away, not because I ignore it, but because I work with it, so I prefer something a little different from my day job, however, I really like the sound of this one, it feels a little different, so thanks for that, will quickly put it on my wish list! x

  8. Yes, your review makes this sound like a good candidate for a movie. Oh that the film industry would listen to us.

  9. Great review! I LOVED this book, it was one of my all time favourite's this year. It really spoke to me.

  10. Great review, the book sounds very interesting. I too would like to know if she dies, don't like those kinds of endings -- too much like REAL LIFE.

    Enjoy your Week!

  11. Hi Karen, I didn't know you worked with death. I guess this one is about doing something that's right, it's a good read with a message. ;)

    Mya, I read that Lauren Oliver has sold the film rights to Fox 2000 so it will be a film at some stage. ;)

    Terry, thanks. Great to hear you loved this one! I enjoyed it too. ;)

    Dellgirl, Aha! Now, you know I can't say. Have a fabulous week dear lady. ;)

  12. I don't generally read YA, not even when I was a YA. But I love the movies you mentioned, so this one may just lure me in:)


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