Before I Fall is a YA novel telling the story of Sam Kingston, a high school senior who re-lives her day of death over and over in an attempt to change her fate.
The biggest shock I found in reading this novel was how beautifully it was written. While I love YA, I wouldn’t consider many of them to be beautiful. I was captivated by this book the second my fingers touched the first page. Sam and her friends are total bitches, but it’s hard not to like them; to want them to like you.
Before I Fall reminded me a lot of Pretty Little Liars (books, not show). Lindsay = Alison hands down. Unlike PLL, the message this book sends is powerful, and although I was sort of hoping for a different ending, it was sort of perfect. Maybe you can’t change your fate, but you can change yourself.
“Remember that we are the same, you and me. I thought I would live forever too.”
You would think that the book would be repetitive, as it’s the same day told seven different times, but it was actually quite interesting. What Oliver did takes talent. Enough changes are made each time the story is told that it holds your attention. Even though the story stays the same, you get to know each character in new ways through Sam’s thoughts and memories. Many new characters are introduced throughout as well. Juliet, who I initially though was going to be irrelevant, ended up being quite important. And Kent? Such an adorable thing.
Also, how Sam’s own character evolves throughout the story is so believable and genuine. I loved how much of the story was sel-reflection. It’s rare that you get such an insight into a character’s mind.
“But before you start pointing fingers, let me ask you: is what I did really so bad? So bad I deserved to die? So bad I deserved to die like that? Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does? Is it really so much worse than what you do? Think about it.”
My only complaint with the story is that the chapters are so long (one for each day). Each one is divided further, but I felt obligated to do each day in one sitting.
Overall, I’m giving the book an 8/10. I’m going to watch the movie tonight, and I can’t help but feel like I’m going to be beyond disappointed.