Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.
The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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.
The best description I can think to give of Before I Fall is Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls. The main character, Samantha, and her friends are the high school girls that you love to hate: they’re popular, mean, pretty, shallow, and have a strong sense of self-entitlement. From the outside, they’re living the perfect life – until one day changes everything.
Lauren Oliver’s writing is beautiful. Everything is described so well that you won’t just visualize it; you’ll experience it. All of the characters are so real – multifaceted and flawed with authentic teenage voices. Kent in particular was such a wonderfully crafted, unconditionally loving character that he has been added to my ever-growing list of book boyfriends. While I honestly didn’t like Sam and her friends at the beginning of the book, I found myself quickly sympathizing with them as they became more self-aware and adjusted their personalities accordingly.
Before I Fall touches on many important themes: grief, loss, change, forgiveness. It teaches us that even the smallest actions can have drastic effects – both on our lives and the lives of others – and that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. By the end of the book, you’ll find yourself wondering what changes you would make if you were given a second chance.