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Before I fall by Lauren Oliver
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Before I fall (edition 2010)

by Lauren Oliver

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3,0173321,886 (3.97)106
Member:alexiscartwheel
Title:Before I fall
Authors:Lauren Oliver
Info:New York : Harper, c2010.
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, young adult

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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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» See also 106 mentions

English (326)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Hungarian (1)  All (332)
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
I've been browsing a lot of reviews of this book, and I feel like I got something different out of it than most people did. I enjoyed this novel. I did. I tried reading it once before, and I couldn't get passed the first day because Sam annoyed me so much. She's the type of character I hate because she just doesn't get anything. She thinks she's high and mighty and cares about no one but herself and her cliquey friends. However, I decided to give this book a second chance because I convinced myself that she'd get better. And she does .

Sam goes from a self-centered, for lack of a better term, bitch into a girl who actually seems to care about the world around her. She sees the pain of others and realizes that it's her and people like her who cause this pain. She realizes that there is more to people than what's on the surface, and she even discovers this true of her closest friends... and herself.

The characters in this book become likable, which is unusual for me because I general find characters unlikable as the story progresses. The different layers of the characters are revealed one by one and you soon realize that no one is as they seem. This is what drives the story, this reveal of character.

Mild spoilers for the next bit.

The plot itself is not unique (so many people have made reference to Groundhog Day) but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. We root for Sam and we groan at her many mistakes. On her "bad" day, I was seriously worried that this would be the part when Sam wakes up the next day and has to live with her consequences. While that would have been very fun, the story takes a different route as the day is wiped away once again. But still, the story is enjoyable and it's nice to see not only Sam, but other characters develop.

As for the ending... I'm somewhat confused as to what I believed happened. It's ambiguous in a way, and this is where I think my opinion diverges from others. A part of me believes that the first day was Sam's true death. She died the first day, and this was the life she lived. The rest was a limbo state. She had to relive that day in order to make peace with herself, not to save Juliet. I personally don't really understand why she had to save Juliet, unless it's due to a guilt trip she was having. In my opinion, Sam was feeling guilty about her life and her choices, and she was forced to relive the day over and over until she was satisfied with her life and she could die in peace. For me, this means that the seventh day never happened beside in Sam's mind.

Pessimistic, right?

But it fits with the theme of 'you only get one chance.' Sam's just a lucky one; she gets 7. ( )
  ainjel | Apr 28, 2017 |
Sam Kingston and her three best friends are popular seniors. Lindsay, Sam, Elody, and Ally are basically untouchable. Put down whomever they please. Go to the best parties. And after one of these parties, crash their car. This is where Sam’s story really begins. And ends. Over and over again. Sam is forced to repeatedly live through her last day and see how her choices change everything.

I’m going to start right off with what I didn’t like about the book: I basically hated all the main characters. Sam and her friends are the epitome of the mean-girls trope. They are pretty and popular, and that’s pretty much all they seem to care about. They are bullies: Lindsay being the particularly vicious one, but they all play along. (This is specific issue for me, if you know my history.) They, admittedly, do seem to care about each other, but they are the kind of best friends who call each other “bitch” and “slut” regularly, which I frankly find disgusting. Typically, not having characters I can care about from the beginning is a deal breaker for me. And I thought I was going to hate this book from the first couple of chapters.

Then, because I rarely give up on a book without finishing it, interesting things started to happen. Sam’s final day started changing more drastically. Twists were revealed. And I found myself hooked. I was still cringing at things that Sam and her friends would say or do, but I wanted to know what happened next enough that I ignored it (mostly). And as I hoped, Sam starts to - very slowly - have a change of heart. This is helped along by the more likeable side characters. Kent, in particular. Kent is the saving grace of characters in this book. He’s a goofy little sweetheart, who has wanted to be Sam’s hero since they were friends as kids. And finally gets his chance.

I can’t quite say I loved this whole book, but I do think it will stick with me. It was a thrilling ride, which turns emotional towards the end. Maybe having slightly unlikable characters is a necessity for telling a story like this. You had to see just how much of a change Sam went through. ( )
  fireflys_locket | Mar 3, 2017 |
Samantha is popular, with a gorgeous boyfriend and a group of best friends others in the school would die to be a part of. But it's Samantha who dies-and then wakes up, to relieve that last day of her life over and over again.

What does Samantha need to do to get it right this time? To figure it out, she will have to decide what really matters to her, and what is truly important in life.

Oliver made high school come alive all over again for me in this book. I felt like I was right there with the characters, and it made me remember so vividly what it was like to be that age, riding in my best friend's car, music blasting.

This is also such an interesting concept for a book, and Oliver pulls it off well. Things never seen repetitive or boring, and there is a lot of suspense.

I sometimes felt like character development was a bit rushed. Despite this being a long book (over 400 pages), some characters still felt a bit one dimensional, with Oliver adding in details to flesh them out that just didn't really come together for me. I sometimes struggled with understanding the characters' motivations, even the main character and the reasoning behind her big changes.

This is a book I enjoyed, and that kept me interested--I flew through it, despite its length. But I didn't love it. Despite how well Oliver made the characters come alive, they still didn't feel as developed and three dimensional as I wanted them to be. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Feb 17, 2017 |
It's basically just Groundhog Day but for teenagers. Aside from the implied duplication of a previous movie one of the worst examples of bad taste is that as the author was using various examples to show how vacuous and self involved her characters were she felt the need to have the main character deride special needs students going so far as to claim they drooled in the cafeteria during lunch. It was incredibly insensitive as it was in no way needed as part of the story line and was overkill by the author. Having multiple family members who are classified as special needs students it was heart-wrenching to see yet another example of people like them being bullied even if it was in a literary world.

I can only hope that as this was made into a movie because they forgot Bill Murray already had a version out years ago, making fun of special needs students will be left out. ( )
  ttsheehan | Feb 9, 2017 |
I don't know if any book other than Perks perfectly describes the angst of being a teen and explores the concept of people hurting each other just to FEEL something. ( )
  ncruse37 | Feb 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 326 (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
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

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

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

"Beep beep", Lindsay calls out.
Quotations
''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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

(Eskimo_Kissez)

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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.

(summary from another edition)

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