Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Review: Before I Fall

Last week I mentioned on Twitter that I had just finished what might be my favorite YA book of all time, and possibly my favorite book of 2013 so far. And what is this mysterious book called? Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Last week I finished up the Delirium trilogy (also by the same author), and because I loved those books so much I thought I would try out her debut novel and see if I liked it too.

Here's the little blurb from Amazon:

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.

After I read this I was a little hesitant, thinking it would be an overly-repetitive Groundhog Day type of teen novel; I mean reliving the same day SEVEN times in one book? More than anything I was curious how the author could possibly make that interesting. So I ordered the sample for my Kindle, and got to reading.

The story is told in the voice of Samantha, who is a popular teenager at her high school. The author gets her "teenage voice" spot on, and when I first started reading the sample I wasn't sure if it would get annoying. But it didn't. And as the sample went on, I got hooked, and I had to know what happened next.

That was kind of the theme of the novel for me- I couldn't put it down, and had to see what would happen with every turn of the page (the electronic page?). I finished it in two days. I'm not sure if this book is for everyone- I could see some people thinking it was a bit juvenile, but I LOVED it. I thought that the book was incredibly well-paced, and I found myself getting super invested in the characters because you got just enough of them, at just the right time. It was weird to feel like I evolved right along with Sam- at first I didn't really like her, but by the end I was holding my breath that everything would be okay.

There are all sorts of things going on in the story: suspense, romance, lots of teenage drama. And I'm not sure if this book is for everyone, but it's for me. I related to many parts of it, and oddly enough it had me crying, which is not how I would have pictured my reaction back when reading the sample. But I found SO much inspiration within these pages. It reminded me that life is short, that (most of us) only get one go-round at life, and surprisingly, made me feel incredibly appreciative of my own little world.

I highly, highly recommend this book to you if you are a fan of YA literature, and don't mind the point of a view of a teenage girl who still hasn't quite found her place. Two thumbs up, for sure.

Let me know if you decide to read Before I Fall, and be sure to keep me updated on what you think once you finish it. Enjoy!

image above via Amazon
I used Amazon Affiliate linking in this post.
If you'd prefer to view the book without my affiliate link, feel free to click here instead! :) 


  1. I'm going on holiday on Wednesday and have been looking for books to add to my Kindle before I go, this sounds completely up my street (I'm a big fan of John Green's books) can't wait to read it!

  2. I read this a while ago, I loved it!!

    Carina xx

  3. This looks really good! Popping over to Amazon right now!

    Hannah @ Squidoodles & oodles xx

  4. I just finished Delirium after reading your post. Oh man, it's so my style. I'm looking forward to the next two books, for sure! This one sounds quite interesting too, so I might try it out after the trilogy.

    Thanks for the recommendations, as always. <3

  5. Your review AND a testimonial by Jay Asher on the cover? One-click ordering this book on Amazon right now! :) I love that you're doing so many book reviews here; I'm a sucker for YA anything.

  6. I have yet to read a YA novel but I have one reserved at the library.

  7. I'm glad I've found another adult woman who loves YA like I do! Of course it helps that I teach middle school, and I know you used to teach high school.


  8. Yes! I actually read "before I fall" prior to "Delirium" - and LOVED it so much,I told all my friends to read it! :) I had forgotten about it- so thanks for posting! I love the style of this book!

  9. Ah sweet, I went to place a hold on the ebook at my library and it's available now! Yessss

  10. I am definitely going to see if our library has this! Thanks for sharing, Dani :)

  11. I loved that book! Read it last summer.

  12. I read this about a year ago and enjoyed it; however, I found myself borderline disappointed at the end. While it was well written and captivated my attention, I hoped for something grander, a twist even, to wrap the story up.

  13. Very nice, thanks for sharing.

  14. This is the book that was chosen for my book club for July!
    I won't lie...I have NOT been excited about it, haha.
    Your review has me a little intrigued, though!
    I'll definitely give it a chance. : )

  15. Definitely want to read this, I love this type of thing - great review x

  16. I've had this on my to-read list for a few years now and it is sitting on my dresser with a pile of 30 other books waiting to be read (I read a lot. . .34 books so far this year). I want to read it even more now. . . and there it is teasing me on my dresser saying, "Read me!"

  17. I finished the first book in the Delirium series and I LOVED it. I have the other two on hold at the library. Thanks so much for your suggestion. and I will deff be picking up "Before I fall" at some point too! I find it awesome that you still want to read YA literature and you are an adult :)

  18. i absolutely loved Before I Fall. when i first started reading it it was tough. and i didn't think i would like the book overall. i was so wrong. i couldn't put the book down! it's one of my favorites and is so different from other YA novels that i've read! i'm glad you liked it!

  19. just downloaded this onto my kindle! cannot wait to give it a read.

    sara ||

  20. I LOVED this book and was haunted by it as I read it. I loved how the MC progressed throughout the novel and the end made me cry. So good, I kind of want to read it again.

  21. I liked the idea of the book, the execution, and that it was thought-provoking. What I did not like were the main characters. Even at the end, I still did not like Sam because I felt that she hadn't really changed; it was more as if she just did what she thought was right, not because she wanted to, but because she didn't want to feel guilty for anything.

    It's a very great read but the main characters may turn off some readers