Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA; Fantasy; Death
Summary: If you had one day left to live, how would you spend it? For Samantha Kingston, a popular teenager with a seemingly perfect life, that is no longer a hypothetical question: her last day is Friday, February 12th…or is it? While she is sure she died the day before, she wakes up once again the next day, only to discover that it’s February 12th yet again. Will Samantha ever figure out why this is happening, or will she forever be stuck in this never-ending loop of sameness?
Review: I picked up Before I Fall on a whim one day, as I was drawn in by the cover. Why am I such a sucker for cover art? After reading the description of the book, I became more excited to read it, and ultimately, I found it to be extremely interesting.
Since the day keeps happening over and over again until Samantha gets it right, it made the reader think of the movie “Groundhog’s Day,” in which the main character is also stuck in a perpetual loop where he keeps waking up to the exact same day. Add in a dash of “Mean Girls,” and you’ve basically stepped into Samantha’s life. Throughout most of the book, I found Samantha to be completely awful and had little to no sympathy for her, yet I was still interested to see how things would turn out. Perhaps it was because she seemed so real; I could think of many people who were just like her. Would she finally do the right thing? Would she stop being so shallow? She’s definitely one of those characters that I loved to hate, and watching her grow throughout the story was definitely a wild ride.
I also thought the pacing was particularly well done here. This story could have gotten stale quite fast, but I never found myself bored with the plot and I really wanted to see how everything was going to turn out. Events transpired in a logical sequence, and while some of the twists and turns were a bit predictable, others were completely surprising!
If you’re looking for an entertaining, thoughtful read that will have you examining what you would do if it were your last day, Before I Fall is definitely worth reading.
Read-alike: If I Stay – Gayle Forman