Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

“What if you only had one day to live…Sam Kingston is dead. Except she isn’t…this is a story of a girl who dies young, but in the process learns how to live. And who falls in love…a little too late.”

Lauren Oliver has woven this interesting and compelling narrative about a senior high school girl who has the world at her feet when she is killed in an horrific car crash. Samantha is caught somewhere between life and death and has to re-live her final day on earth, waking up in her own room on the morning of the accident time and again.

I devoured this book and was utterly sucked in to Sam’s life and her circle of friends with their complex emotional lives. Reading this book was like being sucked backwards into high school again and the confusing intensity of teenage emotions and social dynamics. This is not a book only for teens though! What Lauren Oliver has written is utterly believable and the reader is dragged through the worst day of Sam’s life discovering with her the truths to which she has  been blind and the love that she has almost thrown away.

Though the book hovers around the concept of the inevitability of Sam’s death and her inability to prevent it, there is a beautiful thread of hope that runs throughout. Oliver gently unfolds the story of this one girl’s desperate need to make sense of her life and find meaning in it. I laughed, I cringed, I cried, I grieved, I screamed, I chewed my nails and blushed when she feels the first stirrings of love. I loved Sam and turned each page to see if she managed to change her fate and hold on to the love she has finally discovered. You will too!



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