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Before I fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I fall (edition 2010)

by Lauren Oliver

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2,8313252,056 (3.98)103
Title:Before I fall
Authors:Lauren Oliver
Info:New York : Harper, c2010.
Collections:INFM 208
Tags:death, peer pressure, popularity, bullying, suicide, friendship, young adult fiction, redemption, teen, YRCA 2013, self-perception

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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver


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English (319)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (325)
Showing 1-5 of 319 (next | show all)
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  gail616 | Oct 18, 2016 |
Before I Fall is much better than Vanishing Girls. I was so disappointed in Vanishing Girls that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this one, but Lauren Oliver’s stories sound so intriguing that I had to give this one a try. I’m so glad that I did.

Sarah Drew did a fantastic job narrating the novel and bringing the characters to life.

The story has a Groundhog’s Day format with one day repeating, but I thought it was very effective and well executed. Each day brought on something new to the story, something different without feeling like you’re reading the same story over and over. I love YA novels like this one that address real teenage issues like underage drinking, drugs, bullying, cheating, and theft without trying to glamorize it.

The writing constantly moved forward at a pace that I found enjoyable. I wish I had a print copy of the book in front of me while I listened to the audiobook, because it had some very cute similes and metaphors.

Samantha and her friends are shallow, popular high school seniors and at times they sounded like they had the same personality, but that’s typical when you’re part of a clique like theirs. You must fit their mold or do not enter. The girls were wild and carefree with a vicious streak, especially towards Anna and Juliet. If these girls were real, they would be the type of girls that their quiet, shy classmates would envy, faults and all. They’d secretly want to be like those girls, going to parties, dating any popular guys they wanted, easily making friends with the other popular kids. As a teen, those things are important, but as an adult, you realize that those things are ridiculous.

I still found the characters interesting even with their shallowness. I had a very clear picture of what they looked like and what kind of people they were; phony, pretentious, entitled – except for Samantha.

Don’t get the wrong impression. This isn’t a superficial, YA novel that has nothing to offer. It actually gives you hope for the Z generation of kids. All it takes is one teen who wants to stand up for another who is bullied. One character learns that his actions have consequences and just because he’s a good-looking, popular boy, he doesn’t get a free pass. Another character has a lisp, but she appears comfortable with it. Samantha has more depth and insight than most teens. She has compassion for others, while her friends are self-absorbed brats. She sees the pretentiousness in her friends. She sees that their act is just a façade to hide their own fears. They’re convincing actors. If more teens realized this, less teens would be bullied because they’d know that their bullies are just as afraid (and maybe even more) than they are.

I was a little disappointed in the ending, not because it was bad, but because I wanted it to end differently. Before I Fall gives me hope for Lauren Oliver and now I actually want to read another one of her novels.

I recommend this book to fans of YA novels, especially novels that deal with real issues.
( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
I loved this book...by the end. When I first started reading it I thought that I wasn't going to be able to finish it. Which would be unfortunate since I won it for free from the Goodreads First Reads Program, and I don't like to keep any book unfinished. This book turned into a look at a very real and authentic look at a group of high school girls. An absolutely fantastic book.

Except for one small problem.....I HATED the main character and her friends. Absolutely hated them. I wasn't sure if I could read a book about such repellant assholes. Which I suppose was on purpose since it really makes you root for the main character, Sam Kingston. And by the end I did root for her. She had serious issues to work through and needed to see that her behavior had real consequences for others. I really liked her by the end and actually wanted to see her come back to life. Impossible of course, but her story really got to me.

Her friends however never really recovered from my first impressions as giant assholes. Did I understand that they all had issues? Of course. That still didn't redeem them or their actions in my eyes. I will say that they did obviously have a great friendship with each other, and I like to see that close-type of relationship in literature.

This turned into one of my favorite books despite my dislike of a lot of the characters. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Sep 17, 2016 |
Ugh. I was so on board with this until the end. So literally the only way that she can stop Juliet from committing suicide is to sacrifice herself? And big ole meanie Sam deserves to die so much more than Juliet because...? I don't know, but after spending all this time with Sam and getting to see her make positive changes in her life, I think it's a total cop-out to make her not have to follow through with these changes. What's the point in teaching her all these things about herself if she doesn't have to change, not really? Her friends won't get the chance to change with her - because she's dead. And surely Juliet is now going to shoulder the blame for Sam's death, thus making her inherent problems even worse - I'd be pretty pissed off if my best friend died trying to save you because you ran out in front of a car. ARGH.

Also it's just plain stupid that there was no other way to prevent Juliet dying. And why was this Sam's responsibility anyway? I'm always reminded of that scene in Buffy, in the episode Earshot, where Jonathan's going to kill himself:

JONATHAN: Stop saying my name like we're friends! We're not friends! You all think I'm an idiot! A short idiot!
BUFFY: I don't. I don't think about you much at all. Nobody here really does. Bugs you, doesn't it. You have all this pain, and all these feelings and nobody's really paying attention.
JONATHAN: You think I just want attention?
BUFFY: No. I think you're up in the clock tower with a high-powered rifle because you wanna blend in. Believe it or not, Jonathan, I understand about the pain.
JONATHAN: Oh right. Because the burden of being beautiful and athletic, that's a crippler.
BUFFY: You know what? I was wrong. You are an idiot. My life happens to, on occasion, suck beyond the telling of it. Sometimes more than I can handle. And it's not just mine. Every single person down there is ignoring your pain because they're too busy with their own.The beautiful ones. The popular ones. The guys that pick on you. Everyone. If you could hear what they were feeling. The loneliness. The confusion. It looks quiet down there. It's not. It's deafening

In short, well written and characterised book let down by the worst ending I could have imagined the author giving it. I'm not pissed off because the ending was sad - I'm pissed off because the ending was morally horrible and rendered the preceding 465 pages completely pointless. ( )
  thebookmagpie | Aug 7, 2016 |
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a bit long, but it reads very quickly. The plot surprised me, and that's always a good thing. The only thing I dislike about some YA books is the tendency of the author to namedrop brands of clothes,jewelry, etc because it comes off (to me) as a desperate attempt by the author to seem cool to the reader. Otherwise, I liked the plot and was happy with the resolution of the story. I thought that maybe some of the drinking and other situations encountered were maybe inappropriate for the intended audience, but then I realized that it's nothing worse than what's on TV or anything that I read at that age. ( )
  jp0058 | Jul 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 319 (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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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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