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With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.

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.

Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Topics: Death, Bullying, Second Chances, Connecticut, Car Crashes, First Person Narration, Family, Friendship, Love, Realistic, High School, Magical Realism, Tragic, and Debut

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061987496
List price: $9.99
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 Not being a big fan of the "Delerium" series, I thought I'd see how I fared with the original Lauren Oliver hit, "Before I Fall," and I'm quite glad I did. In "Before I Fall," the main character dies. No, this isn't a spoiler, this is the beginning of the book, however, when she wakes up after her death she finds herself living the same day over again. And again. And again. Like the "Groundhog's Day" of deaths.Thing is, she's not really been a nice girl. In fact, she's been one of the "mean girls," and maybe, just maybe, she needs to set things right before she can really be free.The story was lovely. Really lyrical and introspective. The main character has some realizations about herself, yes, but also acknowledges the extent to which it is simply human nature to exclude, to misunderstand, to be... human. You'll be frustrated as the main character as she tries again and again to get it right, and hopefully, sigh with satisfaction when she does.more
It took some getting used to, but I really liked this book. It pulled me in, despite my many misgivings and despite my intense dislike of the main characters. I realized that writing about narcissistic, wealthy teenage mean girls was exactly what Lauren Oliver wanted to do. She wanted go inside the lives of the stereotypical mean girl and figure out what makes her tick. I got curious about just how she intended to redeem the nasty main characters. Are they even redeemable? I'll let you decide that your for yourself.
In many ways, it's a simple story about the impact of bullying and the devastating effect that seemingly random acts can have on people's lives. Lauren Oliver is a good writer and she tells this story well. Her finger was absolutely on the pulse of teenage life and I commend her for that. It felt very authentic to me....(and my 33 year old world view!)
I listened to the audio version which was performed with great drama and intensity. I spent a lot of time totally hating the main characters, but by the end, I was completely hooked and wanted to know how it would all end.
This would be a fantastic book to discuss with a teenage book group.more
I did not particularly enjoy this book as I felt it had a rough writing style that jolted readers out of their reading, and I didn't really care for the content of the book. I gave this book a 3Q for quality because of the writing style and I feel that the popularity of the book is a 2P because I can see it only appealing to a limited number of teens.I could see this book being a cathartic way for teenagers to step outside themselves and see how their actions could affect others. It also might be helpful for someone who is being bullied or belittled to be able to see the main character come to terms with her action (or inaction against the leader of her crew) and her attempts to make things right before the end of her time.I think the only time I might recommend this novel to a teen would be if they were wanting a book about a popular girl in high school that gets a chance to right some of the wrongs she has done, but to be honest, I found it to be a sad, depressing tale of a bunch of popular students who couldn't see that their actions might eventually be the catalyst that drives another to suicide.However, if this book stops one teenager from bullying or making another teenager feel like a lower-class citizen, then it would be worth it to have this book read by teens. My favorite paragraph in the book is where Sam describes the impossibility of knowing that something you are experiencing is the last time you will experience it:"but I'm guessing it's like that for most things in life - the last kiss, the last laugh, the last cup of coffee, the last sunset, the last time you jump through a sprinkler or eat an ice-cream cone, or stick your tongue out to catch a snowflake. You just don't know."more
The book is about a popular girl who dies and wakes up the next day to relive her life again. She does this seven times and finally she understands what is important and in the end she saves a girl everyone makes fun of and realizes that her present boyfriend was not the person for her. I found this very strange but it does show what is important in life.more
February 12-- Samantha Kingston is on her way home from a Friday night party with a car full of friends. Joking, laughing, jostling, a cigarette dropping, a blur of white-- and suddenly Sam's life is over. But it's not. She wakes up to another February 12... then another... then another... and slowly, as she relives her last day on earth over and over again, she realizes how shallow and superficial her life has been and decides to make things right. Think compelling, YA "Groundhog Day" without the happy ending. Well, the ending is happi-ER than it might have otherwise been, but not the nice, neat tied-up-with-a-bow happy ending of Bill Murray's version of living the same day over and over again.more
Let me start by saying I love the movie Groundhog Day...just love it. Nothing like a good Bill Murray and "I Got You Babe" on an alarm clock to make you happy. That being said, I couldn't stop making similarities between that fabulous masterpiece with Mean Girls thrown in for good measure.

The storyline is already obvious in the blurb that's given. Samantha "Sam" Kingston is reliving the last day of her life, over and over and over. She has 3 best friends and they are super popular, super snotty, and all around, the "mean girls" that everyone wants to be friends with. Personally, they all drove me nuts. I found them to be vindictive and cruel and seriously wanted to know what was up with their parents that they constantly had booze, skipped classes, and were never home. (Yes, I'm a mom and a school principal - this frustrated the heck out of me)

As Sam relives her last day, she reflects on what makes a person "good," and tries to make things right. The problem is, though, that you can't go from being the senior high school bully to everyone's best friend overnight.

It's high school drama at it's best and gives you pause to wonder what you would change if this were the last day of your life... Perhaps that would lead to a good discussion among friends?more
Read on March 12, 2011I've read a lot of really great YA novels lately and here's another one to add to the list....Sam is a popular girl that suddenly finds herself dead. Sounds morbid, but this is a tale of redemption. After Sam dies, she discovers herself reliving her last day over and over again (yes...like Groundhog Day). She tries to make her last day end well, but she always awakes to the same Friday. As she relives the day, she starts to discover that she made many mistakes along the way and attempts to fix them.Because I'm in total readalike mode at work, as I read this I kept thinking of other great YA books like it. Definitely try Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, Thirteen Reasons Why, and Going Bovine if you're looking for YA reads with a little more meat than Twilight. Each are exceptional stories about teens trying to get through the puzzling world of adolescence, but with darker than you would expect events and actions...if that makes any sense.more
What I loved? The writing. Lauren Oliver has a way of sucking me and making me forget my own life. For that alone I will always be willing to read her stories. This particular one had been sitting on my shelf for nearly a year. It sounded sad. Doesn't it sound sad? And it is. But it's so much more than that.In the beginning, there's a group of stuck up, b*tchy (yes, I really did just asterik that... lol) girls who are best friends. And they are not very nice people. They are mean to people just for the fact that they are different or just because. Honestly, I was almost done with the first day and I was thinking, Why do I care what happens to Sam? I mean, yeah, dying sucks, but I just don't like her. And then, came this:"Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does? Is it really so much worse than what you do? Think about it."I thought, Whoa. Wait a minute. Did she really just make me rethink it? Here I was judging her and her actions and not liking her... how did that make me much different from her? So I opened my mind a bit and read on. By the time I got near the end I was so anxious. Was Lauren Oliver going to rip my heart out? She had already broken it numerous times... but would she rip out completely and do a Mexican Hat Dance on it or help it get mended? (I won't say which happened...)Needless to say Sam grows as a character. It wouldn't be a story if she was a complete and total b*tch the entire time. We have various characters throughout the story, some of which I didn't care for and some I cared for very much. Sam's boyfriend, Rob, is a grade-A tool. I mean, she can only be with him for the 'status' that comes with it, and that right there says so much about her state of mind. She doesn't care enough about herself to be with someone who would treat her like she should be and appreciate her for all she is, or all that she could be. Her best friend, Lindsey, isn't the nicest person either. The more I found out about her the less I liked her... until Lauren Oliver started peeling back the layers. Most of the characters in the forefront of the story had more than the superficial facade we first see at the beginning. I started to see them for more of who they really are or who they want to be than who they portrayed themselves as throughout.As I said, I wasn't sure how my heart was going to feel when I was done, nor was I sure if I was going to need a full box or a half a box of Kleenex. So. Emotional. Heart-wrenching. Unnecessarily necessarily so. It's not action packed, it's not an on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller. It's character driven. It's about evolving and acceptance and friendship and love. And it should make you think... if I were to die tonight have I lived today as I would want to be remembered? Have I shown love, compassion, happiness, or kindness to others? I realize that's dripping with sappiness, so hopefully it doesn't pour out and make your screen sticky. But really. I can guarantee that I don't act the way I probably should every day. But the next day isn't always guaranteed. Not that we don't know that, but it helps to be reminded of that. I think.more
I started reading this, and thought Oh, No, not another Groundhog Day clone. Thankfully, it blossomed into an incredible novel.more
Obviously, I've heard a lot about this, long before I opened it. The concept sounded fascinating and I enjoyed Delirium, so I was definitely super excited to read this one. Anyway, the opening section totally caught my attention with the cleverness of the writing and the strength of the voice. Even though I could immediately tell that I would kind of hate the main character, I was hooked.

Seriously, I spent the first half of the book wanting to do nothing so much as punch Sam and her friends in their made-up faces. Ugh. It was awful. Basically, most of this book reminded me just how much I hated high school. I'm so glad I'm through with that part of my life, and I would not go through it again, even if I could take all the knowledge I have now with me. People are so cruel and all of the emphasis put on popularity, on being this cookie cutter person who dates the right people and goes to the right parties; it's all bullshit.

What's important to know, though, is that even during the many, many pages where I wanted to punch pretty much everyone in the face, I still really enjoyed reading Before I Fall. The writing is completely captivating. Lauren Oliver very much captures Sam's voice, and manages to let Sam's character grow at a very natural pace.

Obviously, this plot is like Groundhog Day mashed up with Mean Girls. Much like the former film manages not to be boring, even though he's living the same day over and over again, Oliver's book never dragged. Even thought the events that transpired as Sam lived the same date over and over again remained pretty consistent, the smallest changes made huge differences or no difference at all. I really loved the emphasis placed on how much and how little can change in just a single day. Really makes a girl think about carpe-ing that diem.

My very favorite part of the novel, other than the really awesome concept and the writing, is Kent. He is just the cutest, so nerdy and himself. Were he not so brave, he could pretend and be as popular as anyone, but instead he embraces his weirdness, and I just love that about him. I wish I'd had a guy like him in high school, but I also know that I would have been too afraid of venturing out of the mainstream that I totally wasn't in anyway to go for it. That's the message I want to leave this post with: life's too short to pass up an amazing, cute, nerdy guy...now I just have to find one (that's not fictional).

As for the ending, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it just now. Honestly, I'm not sure what happened entirely, but I definitely want to bawl my eyes out (figuratively, because literally would be really gross).more
Overall, I liked it and it kept me reading. Groundhog Day gets a mention in the story, and this book is basically Groundhog Day with elements of The Breakfast Club thrown in. As in Groundhog Day, the main character gradually becomes more likeable as she relives her last day, giving her friends and family something better to remember than her original self. I'd like to think that girls like Sam Kingston would read this and treat other people better. But I think that might be too much to ask...more
beautiful book. be prepared to shed a few tears.more
** spoiler alert ** Let me preface this review by saying that I know this review might recieve some hate, but after thinking about this for a while, I knew I had to be honest with my review and tell you what I truly felt, instead of how I know I should have felt because of how many people loved this book. I felt like this book dragged on forever, and was so repetative that it lost my interest pretty early on. I understand the concept of the story, that she is reliving the day she died for a total of seven days, but it took her a whole six to realize how awful of a person she was, and all of her short-comings. Samantha Kingston was such a shallow character that I found it extremely hard to sympathetize with her. I didn't like how the days started out almost verbatium with what happened because by the third and fourth day it just felt like you were reading the same words over and over again. I loved the concept of this idea, but felt like the character didn't learn much from her experience, and it still ended with the same outcome, she died in a tragic car accident. I do think that Lauren Oliver makes you think of how you personally treat other people, and if you were to die today, how would people remember you? I do think that's important, but just wish the story was executed a bit differently, because for me it lost its impact quite a bit with its repetition.more
Samantha Kingston is a popular girl in high school with her 3 best friends. They like to have fun and party but one night after drinking at a party the girls get in a car accident and Sam dies; but she wakes up the next day and its the day the accidet hapened. Sam has to relive this day 7 times until she saves someone else's life and can move on with her own. Overall it was a good book, parts of it weren't very attetion grabbing and some of the characers can be infurating at times but it had a very good end and left a good impression. I would reccomed it more for girls then for guys.more
I wasn’t exactly sure how I would feel about this book when I picked it up. Everyone says that it’s such an amazing book and that they love it. I’ve also heard that the main character, Sam, is horrible. and that she is easy to hate. So going into this book I had high hopes but at the same time I was a little scared. I had a hard time in school. I was made fun of and beat up everyday. So I was worried that if the main character was as bad as everyone was saying, that it would somewhat ruin the story for me. Sam actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting her to be. Her best friend is actually a lot worse.I liked Before I Fall but I didn’t love it like most people seem to. Not that I didn’t think it was well written, because it is. It’s just the story got a little repetitive at times and seemed to drag on. I liked the concept and that Sam started changing but at the beginning of every chapter I seemed to roll my eyes because it was like I was getting nowhere in the book even though I was. It’s weird that you can like something and dislike it at the same time. Even get annoyed with it.Would I recommend Before I Fall? Yes, but not to everyone. The person I recommend books to the most, my Mom, probably wouldn’t like this book. However, if you are interested in this book, you should give it a read. Most people seem to love and I enjoyed it.Will I read more by Lauren Oliver? Definitely. I need to get my hands on Delirium.more
SO CLOSE TO PERFECT. I loved this book from beginning to (nearly) end. I listened to the audiobook and Sarah Drew is an amazing narrator who perfectly captures teen-speak attitude. Lauren Oliver has written a powerful and interesting book about what it means to be a mean girl, and what it means to be mistreated by a mean girl. BUT. The epilogue, I felt, was so unnecessary and thoroughly ruined the book for me. Had that been left off, it would have made this fantastic book one of my "best ofs" for 2013 - and the year only just started! It's why I rated the book only four stars instead of five. Do yourself a favor - read the book. DEFINITELY read the book. But ignore the epilogue.more
'...it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other memories layered beneath it that look different.'Lauren Oliver definitely impressed me with Delirium, so of course I went looking to see what else she'd written. I finally got around to reading this and am left impressed once again.If you only had one day left to live, what would you do? Who would you spend it with?These are the questions Sam Kingston thinks a little about, but not much. Mostly she thinks about having fun with her friends, spending time with her boyfriend and maintaining her popularity. But then she dies, and everything changes. Because Sam can't die straight away; not just like that. First she must repeat the same day seven times and use those days to figure out what went wrong and how to fix things. One life and her death depend on it.At the beginning, I didn't warm to Sam. While she wasn't exactly oblivious to what she was doing, she still failed to realise the true seriousness of her actions, and while she knew that she and her friends were acting badly, she failed to stand up to them and try to open their eyes. Very quickly she grew angry with what was happening to her and decided that none of it mattered. She could do anything she wanted, and what would it matter since she would get to relive the same day again tomorrow? I also thought she was being pretty selfish when she knew that someone else's life was at stake, yet decided to interfere only because she thought it might help her. Then, however, she realised what she had to do. I loved seeing her character bloom in the last two or three days; even though she had a few misguided starts, there was at least some progress, and eventually Sam came to be an admirable character.Unfortunately, I can't say the same for her friends, Lindsay, Elody and Ally. There were glimpses for each of them, Lindsay especially, that showed a deeper insight into their characters, but not enough to affect me in any way. I would have liked to have seen more - some change in their characters, too. I would also have like to see some more moments with Sam's family. Even though we see the same day repeating itself throughout the book, there could perhaps have been more insights that happened according to Sam's behaviour. We see a little more depth to Sam's mum, but again, not enough for me to really appreciate it. Having said that, I loved Sam's little sister, Izzy. Despite the age gap, Izzy is in some ways wiser than her sister."Izzy?""Yeah?""Do - do the other kids ever make fun of you? For how you talk?"I feel her stiffen underneath her layers and layers. "Sometimes.""So why don't you do something about it?" I say. "You could learn to talk differently, you know.""But this is my voice." She says it quietly but with insistence. "How would you be able to tell when I was talking?"At this point Sam is starting to pick up on things, but there's so much she still doesn't get. It's moving to see how wise Izzy can be. I loved seeing Sam appreciate her more and wanting to spend time with her; the development of their relationship was really sweet, as was that between Kent and Sam. He's quiet, but intense, present and true. He loves Sam, yet is not afraid to be honest with her. As he says, he sees right through her.Without a doubt, the best thing about this book is the writing. Lauren Oliver knows exactly which words to use to wrench the emotions out of you, and she knows how to describe things beautifully. I love her ability to pinpoint an exact emotion, thought, moment. Her contrast between Sam's typical teen observations and her more thoughtful realisations made me appreciate the writing even more. It got me thinking about the truth of those realisations and about how well Oliver seems to know about life. We do things every day, perform actions, say words, without thinking about the impact or consequences they may have. And that's really what this book explores.The pace of this book is gradual. At the beginning, I thought it was just an OK read and nothing more, but then it started building up and Sam's character started developing. The messages and the emotions behind this book are powerful. I realise I've only touched very briefly on the love interest in this, but really, it's about so much more than that. I'm not too sure how I feel about the ending, though, other than it was very moving. If you haven't read this yet, I strongly recommend it.So.If you only had one day left to live, what would you do? Who would you spend it with? And what would you change?This review is also posted on my blog.more
A 2013 Young Reader's Choice Award (Senior) selection, Before I fall by Lauren Oliver is a gripping novel of death and redemption.Sam Kingston is a popular high-school senior who is killed in a car crash at the beginning of the novel, and then finds herself reliving Friday, February the 12, the last day of her life, over and over again. At first she tries to avoid the final outcome, but even after those days which don't actually end in her death, she still wakes up the next morning to find that it is once again Friday, February the 12th. As she goes through the same day over and over, she starts to understand her impact on the people around her, gradually seeing how seemingly trivial incidents can trigger or prevent major events, and how much harm can be caused by thoughtless words and actions. She also learns to value the people who truly love her, and to look behind the image that people project of themselves. Finally she comes to accept that her death is inevitable and is able to use it to right (or at least temper) an old injustice.Written in the first person with a very authentic teen-age voice, this is a very engaging novel. It is hard to like Sam at the beginning of the book, as she is using her and her friends' popularity in ways that are not very nice: bullying, laughing at, and taking advantage of her less popular peers. Over the next few days, however, most readers will find themselves liking and empathizing more and more with her, as she grows to understand the events that put her own death in motion, and tries to sort out why she is reliving this experience over and over. The characters in the book are for the most part very well developed: the main characters are three-dimensional, and even the less important characters are shown to be more than initial descriptions would suggest. Although this is a novel with a strong (and timely) message, it manages not to preach or talk down to young people. Strongly recommended for ages 13 - 18.more
This book is haunting, and heartbreakingly beautiful. ...Time. Time is precious. What if you only had 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: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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.“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know.” -Samantha“I guess that's what saying good-bye is always like--like jumping off an edge. The worst part is making the choice to do it. Once you're in the air, there's nothing you can do but let go.” -Samantha“So many things become beautiful when you really look.” Samantha“A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.” “Sometimes I'm afraid to go to sleep because of what I'm leaving behind.” -Samantha“Here's another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you're dead, it's the only thing that keeps you alive.” -Samanthamore
An entertaining read. This was another book I grabbed on an impulse. It was displayed as a nominee for good teen books and the blurb on the back of Sam reliving one day over and over again caught my attention. It was interesting to see how Sam deals with it, how her emotions swing back and forth, and watching her learn and really look at who she is. The first part of the book reminded me painfully of high school. In that regard it was fairly spot on. But the second half, where Sam begins to look deeply at what she's done and not done, it moves from a high school drama story to heart-tearing story of redemption. There was nothing enormously powerful here but it has a charm. I read the book in practically one sitting. The ending was and wasn't what I was expecting. After a while I could see what Sam was planning, and it works well for an ending but it doesn't sit perfectly well for me. I'm not sure why exactly but I feel I'm missing something. There's gotta be more. Only there isn't. Maybe it's up to my interpretation. Nonetheless it was a fun read and I may come back to Oliver later on.more
This book was one of the most heavily influenced books I've ever read-fans of both Groundhog Day and Mean Girls are in for a literary match made in heaven. I'm glad I recently came across an interview with Lauren in which she stated (somewhat) that this book was intended to explore elements of both movies/ideas. (Also, I know reference is actually made in the book about the movie Groundhog Day). It just slightly bothered me to read just how similar the demeanor of the four girls in the book were TO the 4 female leads in Mean Girls (did anyone else notice this?). I won't expand on that though, because I really did enjoy that movie.I loathed the protagonist in this book. Samantha Kingston was an arrogant, snotty, and delusional little wreck, and I wondered at times if I was even going to be able to finish the book-but I was intrigued. As much as I hate story lines ripped from existing ones, I have to admit that I needed, almost yearned, to find out how her character was going to evolve; how Sam would concur each "new" day. It seemed like it took her so ridiculously long to come to any sensible conclusions, that I found myself, literally, yelling out loud at the book (or, uh..my phone..read it as an ebook). Towards the end, I still don't think I was able to completely feel Sam's sincerity, if I can call it that, but my GOD..it has been forever since a book has made me look within myself the way this one caused me to do. Lauren wrote some extremely powerful lines within these pages, words that really hit home for me personally-and by the end of it all, I was pretty much in pieces:"I shiver, thinking about how easy it is to be totally wrong about people-to see one tiny part of them and confuse it for the whole, to see the cause and think it's the effect or vice versa"Here's one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It's like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there's no one around to hear it. You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That's how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to bust out of orbit, to spin out to a place where no one can touch you.To lost yourself-to get lost.This book just had an overall magical feel for me. Intended or not,Lauren Oliver's descriptions, the way she painted the world around her characters..had me in a daze. I pretty much lived for scenes between Sam and Kent, I don't think I've ever rooted for a possible pairing more than I rooted for them. I want to give this book 4 stars, but I'm torn between hating that it reminded me of Mean Girls so much, and liking how it affected me. *Sigh*..so 3.5 it shall stay..more
"Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”“The last laugh, the last cup of coffee, the last sunset, the last time you jump through a sprinkler, or eat an ice-cream cone, or stick your tongue out to catch a snowflake. You just don't know.”When I started to read this book I was not quite sure whether I liked it or not, sometimes I just got so frustrated with this book that I wanted to walk away from it. However, despite these mixed feelings the book started to grow on me with each new chapter. This book is about a lot of things. Well, the whole book is like groundhog day - Sam dies during a car crash, and re-lives the same day again and again. We are shown that she belongs to a very cruel group of High School girls who are absolutely and sometimes disgustingly mean. For me this was a very schocking experience, although I am very much aware that school life in higher education schools can be like that. However, to wake up every single day on the same day, Sam eventual reflects on her life, her behaviour and examines her group of friends much more closely. She experiments with different things and observes the results. On one side I found the book very frustrating and annoying and at other times I needed to ensure that I had a tissue handy.Maybe, not my most favourite read, but definately a good one.more
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. Instaed, 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.more
One of the best books for teens, and I enjoyed it too. What happens when you get a second, third, seventh chance at your life? Could not put down. All teen girls should read this.more
Title: Before I fallAuthor: Lauren OliverGenre/s: Chick-Lit, Young AdultSynopsis from Goodreads:What if you only had 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: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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 ThoughtsThis book is so relatable and so real in every aspect. At some point in my life, I experienced being Juliet Sykes. I felt the pain of being bullied without any reasons at all. Night after night, the question 'what did I do to deserve this?' repeats inside your head like a horrible chant until it became a haunting lullaby that cradle you to sleep.Also, at some point in my life, I became like Sam. After being a loser, I did everything to be at the laughing side and stay in there. I should have known that it's not right, I should have known better. But I always told myself, this is just a payback. This book is an eye opener to everyone, especially me. And I really am greatful to read this story. It taught me a lot about changes and what's more important in life. I would definitely recommend this to everyone.more
I've been enticed by the idea of this variant of Groundhog Day set in a high school ever since I read about its premise, and it didn't disappoint. Sam is 18. She wakes up on a day that seems like any other, and does all the normal things: gets a lift to school, is surprised by a pop quiz, cuts classes, and goes to a party. The night ends with a car accident. The next thing Sam remembers is waking up to relive the exact same day over again. With each repetition, Sam's perspective on many of the things she had unquestioningly accepted about high school changes slightly. Sam is one of the 'popular' kids, and she initially takes this for granted, but it's interesting realising gradually how much she has sacrificed in the interests of maintaining this popularity. A thought provoking take on friendships, high school, life and death, being yourself, and living each day in accordance with your values ...more
Wow, this book was so powerful. I can't even formulate a reaction to it right now. It left me overwhelmed with emotion. I have to sleep on it and come back tomorrow. But I will say this, it was really amazing and I think everyone needs to read it. Oliver is an amazing writer!Sam Kingston is your typical teenager: she drinks, sometimes smokes, parties, love to hang out with her friends, doesn't care so much about school. And she is popular. She pushes all this to the limits until one day, she dies. But she doesn't just die once, she relives that same day seven times. And in the process she learns things about herself and the others around her that change her perspective on her life.I liked how this book did not make the teens out to be these kids who just kind of pushed the limits and then realized they needed to be good. Sam's friends are raw, the others surrounding her are the same. She learns their faults just as she learns her owns. She learns what's important.In the seven times she relives her day of death, she tries to fix things that go wrong. But each time she does, something else does not go according to her plan. In the end, she realizes that even tho all the people around her are connected, those connections are continuously changing. That just because you think you know what is going to happen and try to fix it, doesn't mean that won't affect something else in a negative way in the end.While this book is a bit sad, you really grow to love Sam as she comes to terms with her death.It actually brought me back to HS and brought up some of that teen angst that I experienced (and that was 20+ years ago!).I highly recommend this book. Oliver is an excellent writer. She doesn't make you feel like you're reading an adult writing as a teen, she actually makes you feel like you're reading from the perspective of a teen (not an easy feet).more
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Reviews

 Not being a big fan of the "Delerium" series, I thought I'd see how I fared with the original Lauren Oliver hit, "Before I Fall," and I'm quite glad I did. In "Before I Fall," the main character dies. No, this isn't a spoiler, this is the beginning of the book, however, when she wakes up after her death she finds herself living the same day over again. And again. And again. Like the "Groundhog's Day" of deaths.Thing is, she's not really been a nice girl. In fact, she's been one of the "mean girls," and maybe, just maybe, she needs to set things right before she can really be free.The story was lovely. Really lyrical and introspective. The main character has some realizations about herself, yes, but also acknowledges the extent to which it is simply human nature to exclude, to misunderstand, to be... human. You'll be frustrated as the main character as she tries again and again to get it right, and hopefully, sigh with satisfaction when she does.more
It took some getting used to, but I really liked this book. It pulled me in, despite my many misgivings and despite my intense dislike of the main characters. I realized that writing about narcissistic, wealthy teenage mean girls was exactly what Lauren Oliver wanted to do. She wanted go inside the lives of the stereotypical mean girl and figure out what makes her tick. I got curious about just how she intended to redeem the nasty main characters. Are they even redeemable? I'll let you decide that your for yourself.
In many ways, it's a simple story about the impact of bullying and the devastating effect that seemingly random acts can have on people's lives. Lauren Oliver is a good writer and she tells this story well. Her finger was absolutely on the pulse of teenage life and I commend her for that. It felt very authentic to me....(and my 33 year old world view!)
I listened to the audio version which was performed with great drama and intensity. I spent a lot of time totally hating the main characters, but by the end, I was completely hooked and wanted to know how it would all end.
This would be a fantastic book to discuss with a teenage book group.more
I did not particularly enjoy this book as I felt it had a rough writing style that jolted readers out of their reading, and I didn't really care for the content of the book. I gave this book a 3Q for quality because of the writing style and I feel that the popularity of the book is a 2P because I can see it only appealing to a limited number of teens.I could see this book being a cathartic way for teenagers to step outside themselves and see how their actions could affect others. It also might be helpful for someone who is being bullied or belittled to be able to see the main character come to terms with her action (or inaction against the leader of her crew) and her attempts to make things right before the end of her time.I think the only time I might recommend this novel to a teen would be if they were wanting a book about a popular girl in high school that gets a chance to right some of the wrongs she has done, but to be honest, I found it to be a sad, depressing tale of a bunch of popular students who couldn't see that their actions might eventually be the catalyst that drives another to suicide.However, if this book stops one teenager from bullying or making another teenager feel like a lower-class citizen, then it would be worth it to have this book read by teens. My favorite paragraph in the book is where Sam describes the impossibility of knowing that something you are experiencing is the last time you will experience it:"but I'm guessing it's like that for most things in life - the last kiss, the last laugh, the last cup of coffee, the last sunset, the last time you jump through a sprinkler or eat an ice-cream cone, or stick your tongue out to catch a snowflake. You just don't know."more
The book is about a popular girl who dies and wakes up the next day to relive her life again. She does this seven times and finally she understands what is important and in the end she saves a girl everyone makes fun of and realizes that her present boyfriend was not the person for her. I found this very strange but it does show what is important in life.more
February 12-- Samantha Kingston is on her way home from a Friday night party with a car full of friends. Joking, laughing, jostling, a cigarette dropping, a blur of white-- and suddenly Sam's life is over. But it's not. She wakes up to another February 12... then another... then another... and slowly, as she relives her last day on earth over and over again, she realizes how shallow and superficial her life has been and decides to make things right. Think compelling, YA "Groundhog Day" without the happy ending. Well, the ending is happi-ER than it might have otherwise been, but not the nice, neat tied-up-with-a-bow happy ending of Bill Murray's version of living the same day over and over again.more
Let me start by saying I love the movie Groundhog Day...just love it. Nothing like a good Bill Murray and "I Got You Babe" on an alarm clock to make you happy. That being said, I couldn't stop making similarities between that fabulous masterpiece with Mean Girls thrown in for good measure.

The storyline is already obvious in the blurb that's given. Samantha "Sam" Kingston is reliving the last day of her life, over and over and over. She has 3 best friends and they are super popular, super snotty, and all around, the "mean girls" that everyone wants to be friends with. Personally, they all drove me nuts. I found them to be vindictive and cruel and seriously wanted to know what was up with their parents that they constantly had booze, skipped classes, and were never home. (Yes, I'm a mom and a school principal - this frustrated the heck out of me)

As Sam relives her last day, she reflects on what makes a person "good," and tries to make things right. The problem is, though, that you can't go from being the senior high school bully to everyone's best friend overnight.

It's high school drama at it's best and gives you pause to wonder what you would change if this were the last day of your life... Perhaps that would lead to a good discussion among friends?more
Read on March 12, 2011I've read a lot of really great YA novels lately and here's another one to add to the list....Sam is a popular girl that suddenly finds herself dead. Sounds morbid, but this is a tale of redemption. After Sam dies, she discovers herself reliving her last day over and over again (yes...like Groundhog Day). She tries to make her last day end well, but she always awakes to the same Friday. As she relives the day, she starts to discover that she made many mistakes along the way and attempts to fix them.Because I'm in total readalike mode at work, as I read this I kept thinking of other great YA books like it. Definitely try Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, Thirteen Reasons Why, and Going Bovine if you're looking for YA reads with a little more meat than Twilight. Each are exceptional stories about teens trying to get through the puzzling world of adolescence, but with darker than you would expect events and actions...if that makes any sense.more
What I loved? The writing. Lauren Oliver has a way of sucking me and making me forget my own life. For that alone I will always be willing to read her stories. This particular one had been sitting on my shelf for nearly a year. It sounded sad. Doesn't it sound sad? And it is. But it's so much more than that.In the beginning, there's a group of stuck up, b*tchy (yes, I really did just asterik that... lol) girls who are best friends. And they are not very nice people. They are mean to people just for the fact that they are different or just because. Honestly, I was almost done with the first day and I was thinking, Why do I care what happens to Sam? I mean, yeah, dying sucks, but I just don't like her. And then, came this:"Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does? Is it really so much worse than what you do? Think about it."I thought, Whoa. Wait a minute. Did she really just make me rethink it? Here I was judging her and her actions and not liking her... how did that make me much different from her? So I opened my mind a bit and read on. By the time I got near the end I was so anxious. Was Lauren Oliver going to rip my heart out? She had already broken it numerous times... but would she rip out completely and do a Mexican Hat Dance on it or help it get mended? (I won't say which happened...)Needless to say Sam grows as a character. It wouldn't be a story if she was a complete and total b*tch the entire time. We have various characters throughout the story, some of which I didn't care for and some I cared for very much. Sam's boyfriend, Rob, is a grade-A tool. I mean, she can only be with him for the 'status' that comes with it, and that right there says so much about her state of mind. She doesn't care enough about herself to be with someone who would treat her like she should be and appreciate her for all she is, or all that she could be. Her best friend, Lindsey, isn't the nicest person either. The more I found out about her the less I liked her... until Lauren Oliver started peeling back the layers. Most of the characters in the forefront of the story had more than the superficial facade we first see at the beginning. I started to see them for more of who they really are or who they want to be than who they portrayed themselves as throughout.As I said, I wasn't sure how my heart was going to feel when I was done, nor was I sure if I was going to need a full box or a half a box of Kleenex. So. Emotional. Heart-wrenching. Unnecessarily necessarily so. It's not action packed, it's not an on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller. It's character driven. It's about evolving and acceptance and friendship and love. And it should make you think... if I were to die tonight have I lived today as I would want to be remembered? Have I shown love, compassion, happiness, or kindness to others? I realize that's dripping with sappiness, so hopefully it doesn't pour out and make your screen sticky. But really. I can guarantee that I don't act the way I probably should every day. But the next day isn't always guaranteed. Not that we don't know that, but it helps to be reminded of that. I think.more
I started reading this, and thought Oh, No, not another Groundhog Day clone. Thankfully, it blossomed into an incredible novel.more
Obviously, I've heard a lot about this, long before I opened it. The concept sounded fascinating and I enjoyed Delirium, so I was definitely super excited to read this one. Anyway, the opening section totally caught my attention with the cleverness of the writing and the strength of the voice. Even though I could immediately tell that I would kind of hate the main character, I was hooked.

Seriously, I spent the first half of the book wanting to do nothing so much as punch Sam and her friends in their made-up faces. Ugh. It was awful. Basically, most of this book reminded me just how much I hated high school. I'm so glad I'm through with that part of my life, and I would not go through it again, even if I could take all the knowledge I have now with me. People are so cruel and all of the emphasis put on popularity, on being this cookie cutter person who dates the right people and goes to the right parties; it's all bullshit.

What's important to know, though, is that even during the many, many pages where I wanted to punch pretty much everyone in the face, I still really enjoyed reading Before I Fall. The writing is completely captivating. Lauren Oliver very much captures Sam's voice, and manages to let Sam's character grow at a very natural pace.

Obviously, this plot is like Groundhog Day mashed up with Mean Girls. Much like the former film manages not to be boring, even though he's living the same day over and over again, Oliver's book never dragged. Even thought the events that transpired as Sam lived the same date over and over again remained pretty consistent, the smallest changes made huge differences or no difference at all. I really loved the emphasis placed on how much and how little can change in just a single day. Really makes a girl think about carpe-ing that diem.

My very favorite part of the novel, other than the really awesome concept and the writing, is Kent. He is just the cutest, so nerdy and himself. Were he not so brave, he could pretend and be as popular as anyone, but instead he embraces his weirdness, and I just love that about him. I wish I'd had a guy like him in high school, but I also know that I would have been too afraid of venturing out of the mainstream that I totally wasn't in anyway to go for it. That's the message I want to leave this post with: life's too short to pass up an amazing, cute, nerdy guy...now I just have to find one (that's not fictional).

As for the ending, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it just now. Honestly, I'm not sure what happened entirely, but I definitely want to bawl my eyes out (figuratively, because literally would be really gross).more
Overall, I liked it and it kept me reading. Groundhog Day gets a mention in the story, and this book is basically Groundhog Day with elements of The Breakfast Club thrown in. As in Groundhog Day, the main character gradually becomes more likeable as she relives her last day, giving her friends and family something better to remember than her original self. I'd like to think that girls like Sam Kingston would read this and treat other people better. But I think that might be too much to ask...more
beautiful book. be prepared to shed a few tears.more
** spoiler alert ** Let me preface this review by saying that I know this review might recieve some hate, but after thinking about this for a while, I knew I had to be honest with my review and tell you what I truly felt, instead of how I know I should have felt because of how many people loved this book. I felt like this book dragged on forever, and was so repetative that it lost my interest pretty early on. I understand the concept of the story, that she is reliving the day she died for a total of seven days, but it took her a whole six to realize how awful of a person she was, and all of her short-comings. Samantha Kingston was such a shallow character that I found it extremely hard to sympathetize with her. I didn't like how the days started out almost verbatium with what happened because by the third and fourth day it just felt like you were reading the same words over and over again. I loved the concept of this idea, but felt like the character didn't learn much from her experience, and it still ended with the same outcome, she died in a tragic car accident. I do think that Lauren Oliver makes you think of how you personally treat other people, and if you were to die today, how would people remember you? I do think that's important, but just wish the story was executed a bit differently, because for me it lost its impact quite a bit with its repetition.more
Samantha Kingston is a popular girl in high school with her 3 best friends. They like to have fun and party but one night after drinking at a party the girls get in a car accident and Sam dies; but she wakes up the next day and its the day the accidet hapened. Sam has to relive this day 7 times until she saves someone else's life and can move on with her own. Overall it was a good book, parts of it weren't very attetion grabbing and some of the characers can be infurating at times but it had a very good end and left a good impression. I would reccomed it more for girls then for guys.more
I wasn’t exactly sure how I would feel about this book when I picked it up. Everyone says that it’s such an amazing book and that they love it. I’ve also heard that the main character, Sam, is horrible. and that she is easy to hate. So going into this book I had high hopes but at the same time I was a little scared. I had a hard time in school. I was made fun of and beat up everyday. So I was worried that if the main character was as bad as everyone was saying, that it would somewhat ruin the story for me. Sam actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting her to be. Her best friend is actually a lot worse.I liked Before I Fall but I didn’t love it like most people seem to. Not that I didn’t think it was well written, because it is. It’s just the story got a little repetitive at times and seemed to drag on. I liked the concept and that Sam started changing but at the beginning of every chapter I seemed to roll my eyes because it was like I was getting nowhere in the book even though I was. It’s weird that you can like something and dislike it at the same time. Even get annoyed with it.Would I recommend Before I Fall? Yes, but not to everyone. The person I recommend books to the most, my Mom, probably wouldn’t like this book. However, if you are interested in this book, you should give it a read. Most people seem to love and I enjoyed it.Will I read more by Lauren Oliver? Definitely. I need to get my hands on Delirium.more
SO CLOSE TO PERFECT. I loved this book from beginning to (nearly) end. I listened to the audiobook and Sarah Drew is an amazing narrator who perfectly captures teen-speak attitude. Lauren Oliver has written a powerful and interesting book about what it means to be a mean girl, and what it means to be mistreated by a mean girl. BUT. The epilogue, I felt, was so unnecessary and thoroughly ruined the book for me. Had that been left off, it would have made this fantastic book one of my "best ofs" for 2013 - and the year only just started! It's why I rated the book only four stars instead of five. Do yourself a favor - read the book. DEFINITELY read the book. But ignore the epilogue.more
'...it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other memories layered beneath it that look different.'Lauren Oliver definitely impressed me with Delirium, so of course I went looking to see what else she'd written. I finally got around to reading this and am left impressed once again.If you only had one day left to live, what would you do? Who would you spend it with?These are the questions Sam Kingston thinks a little about, but not much. Mostly she thinks about having fun with her friends, spending time with her boyfriend and maintaining her popularity. But then she dies, and everything changes. Because Sam can't die straight away; not just like that. First she must repeat the same day seven times and use those days to figure out what went wrong and how to fix things. One life and her death depend on it.At the beginning, I didn't warm to Sam. While she wasn't exactly oblivious to what she was doing, she still failed to realise the true seriousness of her actions, and while she knew that she and her friends were acting badly, she failed to stand up to them and try to open their eyes. Very quickly she grew angry with what was happening to her and decided that none of it mattered. She could do anything she wanted, and what would it matter since she would get to relive the same day again tomorrow? I also thought she was being pretty selfish when she knew that someone else's life was at stake, yet decided to interfere only because she thought it might help her. Then, however, she realised what she had to do. I loved seeing her character bloom in the last two or three days; even though she had a few misguided starts, there was at least some progress, and eventually Sam came to be an admirable character.Unfortunately, I can't say the same for her friends, Lindsay, Elody and Ally. There were glimpses for each of them, Lindsay especially, that showed a deeper insight into their characters, but not enough to affect me in any way. I would have liked to have seen more - some change in their characters, too. I would also have like to see some more moments with Sam's family. Even though we see the same day repeating itself throughout the book, there could perhaps have been more insights that happened according to Sam's behaviour. We see a little more depth to Sam's mum, but again, not enough for me to really appreciate it. Having said that, I loved Sam's little sister, Izzy. Despite the age gap, Izzy is in some ways wiser than her sister."Izzy?""Yeah?""Do - do the other kids ever make fun of you? For how you talk?"I feel her stiffen underneath her layers and layers. "Sometimes.""So why don't you do something about it?" I say. "You could learn to talk differently, you know.""But this is my voice." She says it quietly but with insistence. "How would you be able to tell when I was talking?"At this point Sam is starting to pick up on things, but there's so much she still doesn't get. It's moving to see how wise Izzy can be. I loved seeing Sam appreciate her more and wanting to spend time with her; the development of their relationship was really sweet, as was that between Kent and Sam. He's quiet, but intense, present and true. He loves Sam, yet is not afraid to be honest with her. As he says, he sees right through her.Without a doubt, the best thing about this book is the writing. Lauren Oliver knows exactly which words to use to wrench the emotions out of you, and she knows how to describe things beautifully. I love her ability to pinpoint an exact emotion, thought, moment. Her contrast between Sam's typical teen observations and her more thoughtful realisations made me appreciate the writing even more. It got me thinking about the truth of those realisations and about how well Oliver seems to know about life. We do things every day, perform actions, say words, without thinking about the impact or consequences they may have. And that's really what this book explores.The pace of this book is gradual. At the beginning, I thought it was just an OK read and nothing more, but then it started building up and Sam's character started developing. The messages and the emotions behind this book are powerful. I realise I've only touched very briefly on the love interest in this, but really, it's about so much more than that. I'm not too sure how I feel about the ending, though, other than it was very moving. If you haven't read this yet, I strongly recommend it.So.If you only had one day left to live, what would you do? Who would you spend it with? And what would you change?This review is also posted on my blog.more
A 2013 Young Reader's Choice Award (Senior) selection, Before I fall by Lauren Oliver is a gripping novel of death and redemption.Sam Kingston is a popular high-school senior who is killed in a car crash at the beginning of the novel, and then finds herself reliving Friday, February the 12, the last day of her life, over and over again. At first she tries to avoid the final outcome, but even after those days which don't actually end in her death, she still wakes up the next morning to find that it is once again Friday, February the 12th. As she goes through the same day over and over, she starts to understand her impact on the people around her, gradually seeing how seemingly trivial incidents can trigger or prevent major events, and how much harm can be caused by thoughtless words and actions. She also learns to value the people who truly love her, and to look behind the image that people project of themselves. Finally she comes to accept that her death is inevitable and is able to use it to right (or at least temper) an old injustice.Written in the first person with a very authentic teen-age voice, this is a very engaging novel. It is hard to like Sam at the beginning of the book, as she is using her and her friends' popularity in ways that are not very nice: bullying, laughing at, and taking advantage of her less popular peers. Over the next few days, however, most readers will find themselves liking and empathizing more and more with her, as she grows to understand the events that put her own death in motion, and tries to sort out why she is reliving this experience over and over. The characters in the book are for the most part very well developed: the main characters are three-dimensional, and even the less important characters are shown to be more than initial descriptions would suggest. Although this is a novel with a strong (and timely) message, it manages not to preach or talk down to young people. Strongly recommended for ages 13 - 18.more
This book is haunting, and heartbreakingly beautiful. ...Time. Time is precious. What if you only had 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: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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.“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know.” -Samantha“I guess that's what saying good-bye is always like--like jumping off an edge. The worst part is making the choice to do it. Once you're in the air, there's nothing you can do but let go.” -Samantha“So many things become beautiful when you really look.” Samantha“A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.” “Sometimes I'm afraid to go to sleep because of what I'm leaving behind.” -Samantha“Here's another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you're dead, it's the only thing that keeps you alive.” -Samanthamore
An entertaining read. This was another book I grabbed on an impulse. It was displayed as a nominee for good teen books and the blurb on the back of Sam reliving one day over and over again caught my attention. It was interesting to see how Sam deals with it, how her emotions swing back and forth, and watching her learn and really look at who she is. The first part of the book reminded me painfully of high school. In that regard it was fairly spot on. But the second half, where Sam begins to look deeply at what she's done and not done, it moves from a high school drama story to heart-tearing story of redemption. There was nothing enormously powerful here but it has a charm. I read the book in practically one sitting. The ending was and wasn't what I was expecting. After a while I could see what Sam was planning, and it works well for an ending but it doesn't sit perfectly well for me. I'm not sure why exactly but I feel I'm missing something. There's gotta be more. Only there isn't. Maybe it's up to my interpretation. Nonetheless it was a fun read and I may come back to Oliver later on.more
This book was one of the most heavily influenced books I've ever read-fans of both Groundhog Day and Mean Girls are in for a literary match made in heaven. I'm glad I recently came across an interview with Lauren in which she stated (somewhat) that this book was intended to explore elements of both movies/ideas. (Also, I know reference is actually made in the book about the movie Groundhog Day). It just slightly bothered me to read just how similar the demeanor of the four girls in the book were TO the 4 female leads in Mean Girls (did anyone else notice this?). I won't expand on that though, because I really did enjoy that movie.I loathed the protagonist in this book. Samantha Kingston was an arrogant, snotty, and delusional little wreck, and I wondered at times if I was even going to be able to finish the book-but I was intrigued. As much as I hate story lines ripped from existing ones, I have to admit that I needed, almost yearned, to find out how her character was going to evolve; how Sam would concur each "new" day. It seemed like it took her so ridiculously long to come to any sensible conclusions, that I found myself, literally, yelling out loud at the book (or, uh..my phone..read it as an ebook). Towards the end, I still don't think I was able to completely feel Sam's sincerity, if I can call it that, but my GOD..it has been forever since a book has made me look within myself the way this one caused me to do. Lauren wrote some extremely powerful lines within these pages, words that really hit home for me personally-and by the end of it all, I was pretty much in pieces:"I shiver, thinking about how easy it is to be totally wrong about people-to see one tiny part of them and confuse it for the whole, to see the cause and think it's the effect or vice versa"Here's one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It's like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there's no one around to hear it. You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That's how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to bust out of orbit, to spin out to a place where no one can touch you.To lost yourself-to get lost.This book just had an overall magical feel for me. Intended or not,Lauren Oliver's descriptions, the way she painted the world around her characters..had me in a daze. I pretty much lived for scenes between Sam and Kent, I don't think I've ever rooted for a possible pairing more than I rooted for them. I want to give this book 4 stars, but I'm torn between hating that it reminded me of Mean Girls so much, and liking how it affected me. *Sigh*..so 3.5 it shall stay..more
"Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”“The last laugh, the last cup of coffee, the last sunset, the last time you jump through a sprinkler, or eat an ice-cream cone, or stick your tongue out to catch a snowflake. You just don't know.”When I started to read this book I was not quite sure whether I liked it or not, sometimes I just got so frustrated with this book that I wanted to walk away from it. However, despite these mixed feelings the book started to grow on me with each new chapter. This book is about a lot of things. Well, the whole book is like groundhog day - Sam dies during a car crash, and re-lives the same day again and again. We are shown that she belongs to a very cruel group of High School girls who are absolutely and sometimes disgustingly mean. For me this was a very schocking experience, although I am very much aware that school life in higher education schools can be like that. However, to wake up every single day on the same day, Sam eventual reflects on her life, her behaviour and examines her group of friends much more closely. She experiments with different things and observes the results. On one side I found the book very frustrating and annoying and at other times I needed to ensure that I had a tissue handy.Maybe, not my most favourite read, but definately a good one.more
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. Instaed, 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.more
One of the best books for teens, and I enjoyed it too. What happens when you get a second, third, seventh chance at your life? Could not put down. All teen girls should read this.more
Title: Before I fallAuthor: Lauren OliverGenre/s: Chick-Lit, Young AdultSynopsis from Goodreads:What if you only had 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: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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 ThoughtsThis book is so relatable and so real in every aspect. At some point in my life, I experienced being Juliet Sykes. I felt the pain of being bullied without any reasons at all. Night after night, the question 'what did I do to deserve this?' repeats inside your head like a horrible chant until it became a haunting lullaby that cradle you to sleep.Also, at some point in my life, I became like Sam. After being a loser, I did everything to be at the laughing side and stay in there. I should have known that it's not right, I should have known better. But I always told myself, this is just a payback. This book is an eye opener to everyone, especially me. And I really am greatful to read this story. It taught me a lot about changes and what's more important in life. I would definitely recommend this to everyone.more
I've been enticed by the idea of this variant of Groundhog Day set in a high school ever since I read about its premise, and it didn't disappoint. Sam is 18. She wakes up on a day that seems like any other, and does all the normal things: gets a lift to school, is surprised by a pop quiz, cuts classes, and goes to a party. The night ends with a car accident. The next thing Sam remembers is waking up to relive the exact same day over again. With each repetition, Sam's perspective on many of the things she had unquestioningly accepted about high school changes slightly. Sam is one of the 'popular' kids, and she initially takes this for granted, but it's interesting realising gradually how much she has sacrificed in the interests of maintaining this popularity. A thought provoking take on friendships, high school, life and death, being yourself, and living each day in accordance with your values ...more
Wow, this book was so powerful. I can't even formulate a reaction to it right now. It left me overwhelmed with emotion. I have to sleep on it and come back tomorrow. But I will say this, it was really amazing and I think everyone needs to read it. Oliver is an amazing writer!Sam Kingston is your typical teenager: she drinks, sometimes smokes, parties, love to hang out with her friends, doesn't care so much about school. And she is popular. She pushes all this to the limits until one day, she dies. But she doesn't just die once, she relives that same day seven times. And in the process she learns things about herself and the others around her that change her perspective on her life.I liked how this book did not make the teens out to be these kids who just kind of pushed the limits and then realized they needed to be good. Sam's friends are raw, the others surrounding her are the same. She learns their faults just as she learns her owns. She learns what's important.In the seven times she relives her day of death, she tries to fix things that go wrong. But each time she does, something else does not go according to her plan. In the end, she realizes that even tho all the people around her are connected, those connections are continuously changing. That just because you think you know what is going to happen and try to fix it, doesn't mean that won't affect something else in a negative way in the end.While this book is a bit sad, you really grow to love Sam as she comes to terms with her death.It actually brought me back to HS and brought up some of that teen angst that I experienced (and that was 20+ years ago!).I highly recommend this book. Oliver is an excellent writer. She doesn't make you feel like you're reading an adult writing as a teen, she actually makes you feel like you're reading from the perspective of a teen (not an easy feet).more
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