Before I Fall
Written by: Lauren Oliver
Number of Pages: 470
Average Rating: 3.91/5 stars
My Rating: 1/5 stars
Published: March 2010
Read in January 2018
Summary According to Goodreads
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.
This was such a hard book to get through. Whenever I would put it down, I was not very eager to pick it back up. I did actually own a copy of this book, and brought it away with me on vacation, but decided to save the luggage space and donated it to the library on the cruise ship.
If you know my rating patterns, you would know that I hardly (if ever) rate a novel with one star, as I try very hard to find redeeming qualities in everything that I read. Unfortunately I can’t really think of anything positive to say about my reading experience with this one. The plot was generally unique, not something mind-blowing, but also not something you see often in YA literature. The characters, however, could’ve been picked out of any contemporary high school novel, and didn’t stick out enough to redeem the spiraling plot.
There was too much teenage drama and angst involved, and I found the story painfully repetitive. I understand that the main point of the plot was that she relived her dying day seven times, but nothing drastic seemed to change. Instead I got bored of reading the same interactions, and didn’t find anything significant (in a character development sense), changing from her day to day. I think if this novel was about 150 pages shorter, I would have been able to bump my rating up by a star, just because it would have made it quicker to read.
The ending was bland and didn’t stick out to me in any way. I understand what happened, but totally missed the characters moment when she realized that’s what needed to happen. I struggled to find true character development, and not just Sam acting the way she thought she should. A lot of the development in both the plot and characters seemed forced, and that took away from the experience without a doubt.
Overall, I think I held onto this novel for too long, and it was one I should have read when I was still in high school. Since the movie adaptation was added to Netflix, I did try to watch it but could not get past the first half hour. The actors did a good job of portraying the arrogant mannerisms, but none of it felt genuine or real. I would recommend this to anyone that is interested in the plot, but would warn not to set your standards as high as mine were.