So I did something that I am known to judge people for. What can I say? We’re all hypocrites! I read this book because it is going to be a movie. In my defense it has been on my bookshelf long before it was announced that there would be a movie. This was a book that my younger sister had read and enjoyed, which is a big deal. I have read two other books by the author and I hold mixed feelings about them. I will touch more on that later!
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver follows Sam Kingston as she relives her last day on Earth. One night, as Sam and her friends are leaving a party they are involved in a car accident. Only Sam wakes up the next morning in her bed. At first she thinks it was a bad dream but then she realizes that it is not in fact the next day but actually the morning of the accident. As Sam relives that day over and over again she tries to make changes to the day to save her life, but starts to learn more about herself.
One problem I had with this book was that I did not like Sam’s character. I am not sure if that is how you are supposed to feel but I really didn’t like her. I think she was supposed to be the popular and shallow girl who learns that there is more to life than your high school popularity but it didn’t come across to me that way. By the end of the book I guess I wasn’t totally annoyed with her anymore but I didn’t suddenly like her character. I appreciated the fact that she didn’t suddenly change her personality right away however it still felt like you couldn’t appreciate her change because her character was not that likeable for such a large chunk of the book.
I was also disappointed in the ending a little bit. There was this big mystery hanging in the air for most of the book and when it is finally revealed what happened I was a little let down. It felt somewhat anti-climactic. However, there was another reveal that interested me. While I was able to figure it out I was interested to see where they were going to go with that plot line.
I did decide I like Lauren Oliver much more when she write fiction rather than fantasy books though.
Overall, it was an easy read. It went fairly quick for the size of the book and I found myself curious as to how Sam would react to repeating the day each time. I think it will make a good movie and if you are looking for a book for your teenage relative then this would probably be a good choice.