Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th, 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.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is by far one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. It’s about more than just death- Diving into concepts like eating disorders, infidelity, and, more prominently, suicide, the book captures a strong sense of honesty. Everything from plotlines to Lauren’s writing voice itself adds to the sheer heartbreak in a way that reads as almost surreal. Death aside, not many books accurately display a high school experience and a teenager’s voice like this one does.
Lauren’s writing style is one part of the book I couldn’t ignore. It’s straight up breathtaking, the way her words describes characters and emotions. She has a clever way of using metaphors and phrases that fit in so perfectly with the themes of the story, often using delicate nature as a means of expression.
There were a few characters that struck me while reading. Kent, for one, is such a well thought out and adorable character that I enjoyed every scene he was in. Every time Kent came into the room I wanted to pull him out of the book and hug him and protect him because fuck he’s just so sweet. Elody is a character that didn’t jump out at me until later in the story, but she’s one of the softest, kindest characters in the book.
Lindsey was a character I didn’t like at first. Regardless, she’s a complex, compassionate character- It’s prominent that Lauren put a lot of thought into her. And, obviously, Sam. Her character arc was so unexpected and well done that I didn’t even realize I was rooting for her until there was no turning back. She’s brave and determined.
If you like young adult novels, this is not one you can skip. It’s sweet, unpredictable, and raw.
Reading Before I Fall was like witnessing a miracle.