Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Review by Mikaela, from Florida

Before I Fall is a vibrant, attention-grabbing, constantly interesting page-turner. From the first page, it is impossible to put down. Samantha Kingston starts out telling her story with an insightful all-knowing tone, detailing how the last day of her life changed her life, after death. Samantha, a beautiful popular high school girl, seems to have everything going for her, but as she describes the day she dies, and how it isn't her last day of life, she finds out how much she's been missing. As she tells the story of each relived-day to the next, she progresses from shock, to anger, to acceptance, constantly changing how she views life. The thing that makes the story so powerful is the way Samantha's character is developed. Throughout the story the reader goes along on Samantha's journey of truly finding herself. Toward the beginning of the story, in describing her life, Samantha shows how the person she has become is so affected by the person who she thinks she wants to be, or who she thinks her friends want her to be. As she relives the last day of her life over and over she has no choice but to look at things though a different perspective every time. Each time she wakes and relives that one fateful last day, she realizes how all of the little "meaningless" events in her life add up, and how they affect others, and how much she really has the power to change the lives of the people around her. It is a truly beautifully-written book. The way Lauren Oliver describes every single detail of Samantha's life and every thought that goes through her mind really allows the reader to fully understand the way Samantha changes as a person. Oliver writes in a very readable way, making the book so compelling and hard to put down. The reader can truly feel as though they have complete access to all of the things going on in Sam's mind as she discovers more and more about life and what's worth living your last day for. This is definitely one of the most powerful modern books I've read in a long time, one that leaves a major impression. I highly recommend this book, and rate it a 4 (on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the best).

Posted on 2010-05-23