Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 2nd, 2010
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—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-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 had ever imagined. 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?
If there's a 2010 debut novel I was particularly eager to read, it was Before I Fall. Something about it, I'm not entirely sure what, just drew me to it. I loved how the premise sounded and I read so many positive reviews on it; I just knew I had to have it. Usually such high expectations lead to disappointment. Before I Fall didn't disappoint me at all, though. If anything, it made me sigh with satisfaction.
The plot starts out pretty slow, and I didn't really find myself engaged in the book until after the first few chapters. However, when things picked up, they really picked up. I couldn't put it down! All I wanted to do was lose myself in Sam's story as she repeatedly lived her last day on earth. Before I Fall offers an original and engaging story, and I was swept away by it once the pace picked up.
Initially, Sam came across to me as superficial and shallow, and even a little conceited, but as I got to know her more I was able to look into her past and see exactly why she turned out to be the way she is. Slowly, I found myself able to identify with her more and more, and by the end of the book she was a character well-loved by me. She's flawed, but she tries hard to make people think otherwise, and this characteristic of hers made her so much more believable. The other characters are the same way, too. They're all messed-up in their own ways, but their quirks and diverse personalities make them endearing and essential to the story.
I really don't know what else to say, except that Before I Fall left me feeling a full spectrum of emotions. It made me reexamine the way I've been living my life, and reminded me of one important lesson a lot of people, including myself, tend to forget- just how beautiful it is to be alive. A beautifully-crafted masterpiece of a debut, Before I Fall is an engrossing, thought-provoking novel about love, life and letting go that may just be one of the most powerful books I've read to date.