Before I Fall
By: Lauren Oliver
Released: March 2, 2010
“That’s when I realized that certain moments go on forever. Even after they’re over they still go on, even after you’re dead and buried, those moments are lasting still, backward and forward, on into infinity. They are everything and everywhere all at once. They are the meaning.”
Lauren Oliver wrote a captivating story that makes you wonder what it would be like to relive the worst day of your life, over and over again. It touched my heart, and even though I saw the ending coming from a mile away, I still felt a bit of poetic justice.
The story follows Samantha Kingston, a senior in high school who is a part of one of the most popular cliques. It opens with a prologue that is eerie and sets the mood for the rest of the book. The book is set on February 12th, Cupid Day at Thomas Jefferson High School. What should be a day of love, roses, and a romantic night with her boyfriend turns into what ends up being one of the worst nights of Sam’s life, and the end of her life as well. After a day at school, Sam and her three best friends, the top arcs on the social pyramid, go to a party where things get heated.
The girls seem to be having the time of their lives. Why shouldn’t they? They’re popular, young, and can get everything they want just by who they are. The night takes a turn for the worse when Juliet Sykes walks into the party and causes a scene, embarrassing ring leader Lindsay. She dumps a drink on her and begins to yell psycho at her, which the rest of the kids do in return as well. As Juliet is trying to leave, other party goers pour their drinks on her and begin to push her around, ultimately leading up to Sam pouring an entire drink over the young girl’s head as well. She runs out and Sam and her friends leave shortly after. However, their bad night is only going to be worse. They have a car accident and die.
The next day, Sam wakes up from what she thinks is a terrible dream, only to realize that its yesterday again, and the worst day of her life is starting over. Day after day, she realizes that she is living the same day, on repeat. She has a chance to make different decisions and hopefully change the outcome of what happens to herself. On her journey, she ends up discovering things about her friends and herself, and becomes a better person in the process.
I wish I could say I didn’t know girls like these in high school, I wish I could say I wasn’t friends with them, but I can’t one hundred percent say that and be honest. Oliver tackled the persona of a mean girl so accurately, but even more so, she wrote Sam to embody that of a girl who wants so desperately to fit in that she makes the wrong choices. Samantha Kingston is a lot of us, let’s be honest. Maybe not now, but at some point in our lives we have all been her. Not everyone, but I have. It was hard reading some of the things the girls said and done to others. It was cruel, and scary to think that teenagers are capable of being so mean. But they are, that’s a fact.
She turned around by the end of the story and started realizing that every action she makes has a long standing effect on the ending of her day. She goes through each day, making different decisions trying to change her fate, but can fate be changed?
I read this entire book in almost a day. It is hard to put down once you start reading it. Lauren Oliver is a great writer, and I look forward to what else she has to throw at us. Overall, this book was a good read, and I really only picked it up and pushed it before the rest of my books because I want to watch the movie. I’m a firm believer in reading books before you watch movies, and I’m glad to say that I enjoyed this enough to buy the movie and watch. Look for the counterpart review this week!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5