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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall

by Lauren Oliver

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 294 (next | show all)
I was pretty surprised that I enjoyed this book. I thought it was going to be a DNF until I got to just before the middle, and after that I couldn't put it down, I stayed up in order to finish it. I think once Sam gets past the high school thing and starts thinking bigger picture and realizes once and for all her fate it sealed, she kicks in gear and it helps the story.

Lauren Oliver definitely made an incredibly accurate portrayal of high school and teenagers these days, sadly enough. There were some points in the book where I was just thinking "get on with it" I don't want to hear any more high school stuff, I was glad we didn't have to endure the same thing every single day, for moment in the beginning I though we would. I think Lauren Oliver did an excellent job with this book, definitely one for teens and adults. ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 12, 2015 |
This book was amazing. From the beginning, we know that Sam has died in a car crash, but she has to re-live the day of her death seven times as she tries to make everything right before leaving purgatory. Sam and her friends are the most popular seniors, and they have teased other classmates, but Sam is trying to set things straight. Initially, it's easy to dislike Sam and her friends because they are shallow and mean to others. As Sam re-lives her day, the reader learns more and more about Sam friends and why they're not stereotypical. While Sam is learning that the "weirdos" at school are actual people, the reader is finding out that the popular kids are people, too. It's well-written and very powerful. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
When reading this book, I found myself unable to put it down. I chose this book because I like to read things I can relate to, realistic fiction. Except this this book was kind of realistic fiction, kind of fantasy; two totally different genres that wouldn't seem to be able to come together as one book. This book was written at the perfect pace. When you found yourself getting slightly bored while reading, the author seemed to know exactly what it would take to get your interest.

As for the characters, the main character (Sam), changes SO much throughout the book. She starts out as your typical self-centered, shallow, "im cooler than everybody else" high school girl. She has her clique; Elody, Ally, and most importantly, Lindsay. Lindsay is the leader of the clique. The girls do whatever Lindsay tells them to do without question. The girls in the clique don't know friends in any other way and think this is how everybody interacts with their "friends." Throughout the book, Sam finds herself realizing that she doesn't belong in a clique of obnoxious popular high school girls, from a near-death experience...well at least she's hoping its near death. This experience that happens to her makes her realize that her small actions and words have affect on people that she has never even talked to. Quite frankly, she doesn't even know their names in some cases.

Lauren Oliver (the author) is clearly trying to get a point across. She is trying to get the idea of co-existence across to readers. She is trying to prove that people need to learn that they aren't the only people on this planet and that they need to be aware of the people around them. Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it to not only teens but also adults. This book has a lot of meaning behind it and can teach a very important lesson. ( )
  dancer99 | Oct 21, 2015 |
Sam is a mean girl. That’s all there is to it. She surrounds herself with a clique that rules the school. Lindsay, Elody, Ally and Sam. The most popular girls in school. The leader is Lindsay, and she torments people in school more than she goes to school. Maybe it’s true that the other three girls were just kind of Lindsay assistant, but they did mean stuff as well. They also didn’t try to stop Lindsay, making them equally guilty. I didn’t like this group of friends. I think Lindsay was an especially bad influence. For all three of the girls. Sam cheats on tests and flirts with her math teacher. She engages sin the bullying of students in her high school.
One night, after a particularly great party at Sam’s childhood friend Kent’s house, Lindsay is driving home, very drunk. She claims that alcohol doesn’t affect her driving, but everybody knows that’s a bunch of crap. I think it was dumb for Ally, Elody and Sam to even get into the car with her.
The car crashes. Sam is killed by the impact. Sam even says to the readers that maybe she deserved to die. After all the bad things she did, no one would be sorry to see her go. I don’t agree with this. Everyone can be redeemed, especially a mean girl. She didn’t deserve to die.
But maybe she didn’t die.
Sam wakes up the next day in a sweat. She gets up, confused about eh crash and the party. There was no way that the crash was a dream. She had felt it. When Sam looks at the date, she nearly has a panic attack. It’s February 12th. Again.
The first day, Sam puts off her terrifying feelings as déjà vu. Underneath it all, we are forced to guess what’s happening. During the first day, I thought a couple different things. First, I thought maybe this was some hallucination in the hospital. Maybe she hadn’t died right at the scene of the crash, and was delusional and imagining living yesterday again. My second theory was something that I don’t even understand. Like Sam said, there is a moment before you die when your life passes before your eyes. Sam likes to think that it’s not your whole life, but your “Greatest Hits”. I think that maybe, in the moment between life and death, Sam was reliving her last day over and over again. It may have seemed like a week for Sam, but it could have been a few seconds to a few minutes before she died. This is one of the mysteries of Before I Fall. It’s quite interesting to think about.
Sam is forced to relive her last day seven times. Each day is different, but to me, it became a little monotonous. Sometimes I got bored with the same day. For this review, I am going to talk about the individual characters, because the plot gets very complicated and confusing.
Kent McFuller: Kent is Sam’s childhood friend. They were friends up until high school, where, like many friendships, drifted apart. I always thought Kent was so sweet. Any girl would be lucky to have a guy like him. Sam knew that Ken liked her, but she constantly ignored him, even when he gave a valogram. Each day, Sam’s feelings for Kent increase. In the last few days, Sam’s actions cause her to be in a lot of pain. Kent really helps her. He lets her spend the night at his house and soothes her when she cries. It was obvious for me that Sam was developing feelings for him. Something that bothered me was that Sam’s whole view on Kent changed in such a short time. One day or one week, whatever you want to call it, is a short time for someone to change from hating to loving. I still thought their relationship was cute, and I enjoyed reading about it.
Juliet Sykes: Lindsay spends her high school days tormenting Juliet. Little do they know, she is planning on ending her own life. On the second day, Sam is spending the night at Ally’s, when they find the news. Juliet has committed suicide. Sam never knew what Juliet was going thought was so bad and painful that she didn’t want to live anymore. Sam knows that now she must save two lives. Juliet’s and her own. With Juliet’s death, she believes that the reason she was repeating the same day over and over again was to fix something. She tries different strategies with Juliet that ultimately make things worse. She also looks into Juliet’s history, where she learns that Lindsay and Juliet are friends. Lindsay has done some horrible things to this girl. She spread gossip and called her a psycho for year. Things like this hurt. And they hurt badly.
When Sam finds Juliet during a party at Kent’s, Juliet kills herself by throwing herself in front of Lindsay’s car. Sam is shocked. She tries to think back to her death, but doesn’t think Juliet was involved. She was killed by an incoming truck, not Juliet. She knows that this wasn’t supposed to happen. There is something, somewhere that she needs to change.
On the last day, Sam pushes Juliet out of the way, but the car hits her instead. I don’t understand how this is the solution to getting her out of the cycle of February 12th. Maybe Juliet wouldn’t try to kill herself now that someone sacrificed their life for her.
Before Sam saves her, Juliet confesses everything that happened between Lindsay and her. Lindsay made up all the stuff she accused Juliet did-including wetting the bed at camp. I hated Lindsay even more at this time. Juliet didn’t deserve to feel this way.
Back to the plot review :: I don’t really understand the point of this novel. Sam died. So why did it matter that she save Juliet and be with Kent and accuse Lindsay of her wrongdoings. None of those things were real, right?
I especially liked the day that Sam spent with her sister Izzy. She took her to her special place called Goose Point and reminisced about her childhood. I also like the conversation she had with Marian Sykes. It was so heartbreaking to know what Juliet was planning, and not be about to say anything to her sister or parents.
This book was very unique. I heard stellar reviews about this novel. I liked it. I really did. Sometimes I have a problem with Laruen Oliver. I’m not quite sure why. I really didn’t like Delirium, but loved Panic. Before I Fall probably goes in between these two. She has a very neat writing style. She knows exactly what it’s like to be a teenager. I hear a lot of people cried during this book. I never felt that much emotion. It didn’t move me very much.
Overall, it was a fun, quick read and an interesting plot. There is really nothing like it. I do recommend reading Before I Fall. It reminds you that death can happened to anyone at any time. Whether they deserve it or not. If I learned one thing from this books, it’s that it’s never too late.

This review was originally posted on Goodreads.com
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1352138811?book_show_action=false ( )
  MyBookishThoughts | Sep 20, 2015 |
Sam has it all: the cutest boyfriend, the best friends, all the popularity a girl could ever want. She is happy with her life; that is, until she doesn't have it anymore. February 12 seemed like a normal day; she went to school, collected her roses for Cupid Day, had lunch with her friends, planned to go to a party. All the usual. On the way home from the party, Sam's life ends, but her discovery begins. When she wakes up on what she thinks is February 13, she realizes it is the 12th again, and thinks she has another chance to make everything right. And then she has another chance. And another. Seven times in a row, Sam must live February 12, each time learning more about the night she died. And with each relived February 12, she begins to realize what really matters in life, and most of it isn't what she thought. I love books where people get to come back in different lives or different time periods or get to live again in some way. I liked this book, but I thought it took the main character a little too long to learn her lesson. I was glad she did learn the lesson and realize what really matters in life, and realized that everyone's life matters, not certain ones. There are a lot of topics covered in this book: bullying, suicide, selfishness, second chances. I have thought about it since I finished reading, and now use "Make sure it matters" as my intention for my yoga practice each day. Because that is what is comes to - making sure it matters. ( )
  litgirl29 | Sep 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 294 (next | show all)
Although somewhat predictable, the plot drives forward and teens will want to see where Sam's choices lead.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal, Amy J. Chow

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lauren Oliverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Drew, SarahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In loving memory of Semon Emil Knudsen
Peter: Thank you for giving me some of my greatest hits. I miss you.
First words

They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that's not how it happened for me.

"Beep beep", Lindsay calls out.
''Here's one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning.''
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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.
Haiku summary
It's like Groundhog Day

for young women- in book form

with a sad ending.


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After she dies in a car crash, teenaged Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.

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