Have you ever considered what happens when you die? Does your life really flashe before your eyes? And, finally, when you are gone for sure, do you go to Heaven, Hell, or something like that? Well, Lauren Oliver deals with all these things in her book, “Before I Fall.”
Samantha (Sam) Kingston is a 17-year-old girl who has everything someone would ever want: a hot boyfriend, a lovely family, and she and her 3 best friends are the most popular girls in their high school. February 14th should be another perfect day in her perfect life, and so it is. All she can think about is her boyfriend and how many roses she got since Valentine’s Day. Until she dies in a car accident. And when she wakes up the next day, it’s still February 14th. Sam discovers that she is given 6 chances to live her last day.
I think that the whole idea of this book is really good, but the author didn’t handle it very well—especially in the beginning. There were a couple of plot holes, and because the same day is repeated over and over again, the first 2-3 chapters did get a bit boring at times, even though in every chapter, Oliver adds up small pieces of the story or character’s background. Also, it would be really interesting for the story development if there was someone who could explain to Sam what exactly was going on. She seemed to know what to do next when it was her last day, which was a little odd for me.
The characters were totally realistic yet not relatable at all. I mean, who doesn’t know at least one person who’s really mean to everyone without any particular reason? This is exactly how Sam and her best friends treat people around them, even their families. However, they do care deeply for each other and they have created a very strong bond. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing – sometimes, it’s nice to read and see the world from a completely different person’s point of view. It’s just that because I’m so nice (laughs ironically like a villain), I couldn’t understand what triggered their actions.
Sam’s transformation in this book is just amazing. Even though she was quite confused on the first days, it was very inspiring to see her change her mind gradually. She really took the chance to rethink her life and her attitude and she kept trying to fix things until the very last moment. Her personal evolution motivated me to be strong and appreciate every little part of my life.
Lauren Oliver’s writing is fantastic. Many scenes are magical – not only because she describes idyllic landscapes, but also due to the feelings this book gives you. The most important thing is that “Before I Fall” isn’t melodramatic at all – on the contrary, it’s full of hope. Oliver managed to get into the teenage mind very well. Some of her funny comments could only be said by someone under the age of 20. However, sometimes I wanted to read more of Sam’s thoughts and feelings about certain events instead of just how she reacted to them.
All in all, “Before I Fall” is an awesome book which will surely entertain you. Despite its flaws, it will make you feel. I’m totally convinced that anyone who reads it will cry and laugh at the same time. With some memorable quotes and a perfect epilogue, it will stay with you because it will make you think that you should live each day as though it were your last.