Lauren Oliver is mostly famous because of her Delirium series, but Before I Fall from 2010 is a single standing book, the first contemporary book I have read (that I can remember at least). It is a nice realistic fiction work which stands out from the fiction genre, which seems to become more and more popular. So something realistic was a nice contrast.
Samantha is the popular school girl who has everything. The suddenly she dies, but it does not end there… Samantha gets seven chances to relive her last day in hope to save herself from her awful fate. As each day passes desperation and new perspective opens up and Samantha starts to question everything and soon she wonders what she is actually doing while she is trying to save herself.
She dies and gets seven new chances, this was so capturing and what made me read the book in the first place. The concept totally exceeded my expectations and each chapter is a new day with repetition of her last day, if you exclude the prologue. In the beginning I thought everything started out a bit slow, but then the magic happened and the plot picked up its pace and the story became more and more gripping. It became so gripping that I pretty much read 400 of the pages without a break.
The same thing that went for the plot also happened to all the characters, especially the main one. In the beginning I was not that impressed with Samantha but each time she died she developed more and more layers and she became a complex interesting character that I really liked. We also got to see more and more sides to the background characters as well. I really liked how each reliving of her final day revealed more and more about everything and it was not as repetitive as it might seem. I should also mention that we have a first person point of view which was nice and very crucial for Samantha’s character development as her thoughts became really complex towards the end compared to the beginning.
At first glance I did not like the ending but after half an hour or so I realize that I love it and I would not have it any other way, tough I sometimes feel that a tiny end note on half a page would not have harmed… Overall this book was stunning and I strongly believe I will read some of the author’s other works. Before I Fall was immensely interesting and I hope you would not miss it for the world! 10 / 10
I actually like the Swedish cover more, it’s a bit darker and I think it is more suiting cover since it is a story about a girl who gets seven chances to her final day and therefore I think it’s better with a serious cover instead of a bunch of flowers and a peaceful girl. The translation of the Swedish title is also something I liked a lot “The rest you have to figure out for yourself” is more capturing than “Before I fall” since I got the instant question: “what do I have to figure out?” when I saw it.