Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Voice Actor: Sarah Drew
Awards: Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award (RT Award) Nominee for Best Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy Novel (2010), Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis Nominee for Preis der Jugendjury (2011), Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of the Year for Fiction (2010), Goodreads Choice for Young Adult Fiction, Debut Author, Nominee for Goodreads Author, Favorite Heroine (2010), Literaturpreis der Jury der jungen Leser for Cover (2011)
Finished Reading: August 11, 2014
About: “Samantha Kingston has it all: the wolrd’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.”
Ok, here’s what’s going to happen. I wrote down some random thoughts that I wanted to make sure that I talked about in this post, so we’re just going to have no fluency or segues. It’ll just be a mess of thoughts, much like how I think regularly. Here we go.
I first picked up this book because I saw it being raved about in a beauty vlog that I watch pretty much weekly. She was saying that this was her book of choice to take to the beach and that she just couldn’t put it down. Seeing as how this book is still relatively new, and I was looking for a YA to do for an audiobook, I decided this is the one.
Dr. Kepner, from Grey’s Anatomy, is the voice actor. Umm… hello! I can definitely get down with this. Her voice was absolutely perfect to play stereotypical teenagers.
At the beginning of the story, for like the first and second disc, I absolutely hated this book. I was ready to write a scathing review. Let me rephrase. I hated Samantha Kingston. She represented everything I loathed when I was in high school. She was the girl everyone wanted to please. The girl that didn’t need brains, and passed on her looks, to get by in life. The girl that walks around in the best clothes and worries more about how she looks than about being nice to those around her. She was the girl that I wanted to punch in the face because she was just a sheep following the crowd, a drone just doing what it’s programmed to do. (In case you couldn’t tell, I was the girl in the black, punk-band shirt. I was the girl who used eyeliner as war paint. I was the girl who hated authority…and still does hehehe)
I love the idea of being able to re-do a day. The whole concept of time and space just fascinates me. It definitely has a mix of It’s a Wonderful Life, Back To The Future, and Groundhog’s Day. So the basic concept didn’t scare me away from this book. I stuck with the book to see where this was going.
THERE IS SO MUCH CHARACTER GROWTH. It is absolutely insane, the amount of growth that Samantha Kingston goes through while re-living the last day of her life. I started rooting for her. I wanted her to succeed every time she went through that fateful day. I’m huge on characters and character growth when it comes to my book choices, and holy crap. Loved it.
With each day, Samantha Kingston does something new. We find out more and more about different minor characters and how they play such pivotal roles in Kingston’s fate. I enjoyed seeing the different sides of Lindsay, her best friend and leader of the group.
I had a hard time telling the difference, in voices and mannerisms, between Ally and Elody. Maybe this was a conscious decision made my Oliver and Drew. Maybe it’s to show that they’re just followers and can’t have their own personalities. Maybe from afar they all seem the same. Maybe it was an accident, and they’re supposed to sound really different. I’m going to go with the former, for the sake of Oliver and Drew.
Just a few character notes: The math teacher is just hella creepy and infuriates me. Juliet is… I just want to hug Juliet. She reminds me of several of my friends in school and it really hit me hard. Very close to home for me. So, I just wanted to hug Juliet tight and not let go. Kent McFuller. That’s all I have to say about him. Kent McFuller.
The ending. I don’t really know how I feel about the ending. I wanted it to end the way that I wanted it to. (Duh.) But, it didn’t. Oliver gave me hope and then ripped it away with her own ending. So, in a way, I’m happy and disappointed in the way that it ended.
My rating and why: I gave it four stars! I read it and really enjoyed it! I think the whole idea is just amazing. The themes are on point. I grew to love the characters and felt attached to most of them. It was definitely a very pleasant surprise and glad I read and stuck with it.
SO! What do you think? Do you like Lauren Oliver as an author? Do you plan on reading this book? Did you already read it? What did you think of it? Let me know all in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow. New book review to come tomorrow.
Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!