Publish date: March 2010
"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: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day 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."
I absolutely loved Lauren Oliver's second novel, Delirium, so I was curious about her first, Before I Fall. A few other bloggers highly recommended it, so I decided to buy it. Best decision ever.
This book is about way more than a girl reliving her last day alive seven more times and it is not simply a retelling of Groundhog Day. This book is about how every little action has a consequence and how everything you say affects someone, whether you think it will or not. I knew I would like the novel, because I like Lauren Oliver, but I wasn't expecting to be as blown away as I was. All of the detail and wonderful prose just added to the overall messages of the book.
Before I Fall is also honestly one of the most authentic portrayals of high school and teenage life that I have ever read. For a lot of people, high school sucks and this book absolutely shows that. Sam, the main character, is a member of a group of friends that are very popular in school, much like the main group in Mean Girls. As Sam relives her last day, she begins to notice how much her words and actions (and those of her friends) affect everyone else. The detail about high school life made me feel like I was back in school (although I do work in a school...) and some of the things that Sam and her friends did made me cringe because I know how true they are.
Overall, this was an excellent book that I did not want to put down while reading. I'll definitely be recommending it to everyone I know because sometimes we all need a reminder about how much every little thing we do affects everyone else.