With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today’s foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person’s life can affect so many others.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.
Book Quote: “The whole point of growing up is learning to stay on the laughing side.”
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver is a teenage Groundhog day story.
I found many things in the beginning of this book to be disturbing. This book to me begins by pointing out some acts of bullying then justifying them in one way or another. Not that the lead character Sam bullied per se but she justifies her best friends actions and then joins her later in life when they are friends, in bullying a girl when she doesn’t even know why they pick on her. She was just happy that her bestie chose her and I felt like she felt pressured to be worthy of being that girls friend. That is not the kind of friendships I have or want. I was not popular in high school and preferred not to be noticed at all so I found myself wondering if this is really how kids think?
Her boyfriend is a jerk. I could tell that from early on. He was more of a statement of popularity that she thought she wanted or needed. There are 3 friends that she is closest to and her best friend is the worst. It is clear from the beginning she dies due to the way she talks. It reminds me of Bella in the first Twilight book.
The story starts on “Cupid Day” where people send each other flowers and the more you have the more popular you are. Several things happen on this day… she is mean to her sister on the way out the door to school, you find out she plans to lose her virginity to her boyfriend that night, she flirts with her young teacher, she gets a rose from her childhood friend who has a crush on her and invites her to his party that night, she skips class with ??? and sees a guy from school with the girl he’s cheating on his girlfriend with, she goes to the party where her boyfriend gets drunk so she leaves him there and on the way home they are in a wreck which causes her to live the day over and over.
Through reliving the days she starts to question her relationships and makes new ones… that start all over the next day with only her knowing what transpired. She makes an effort with her family and tries to keep her friends from wrecking. It is a thought provoking book and my movie cohort said it was “deeper “ than she expected.
**Some Spoilers** The differences between the movie and the book:
Her best friend’s car isn’t as expensive as in the book. Her mom drives a van and the only reason I bring this up is because in the book she is upset her mom won’t get another care because the Accord is “fuel efficient.” The most upsetting to me is that in the movie she knows her boyfriend is a jerk but still sleeps with him. I felt like in the book by not sleeping with him at all she had the upper hand. Not that he knew what they did the next day but still. Also, in the movie, it appears as if she relives the day more than 7 times. I think I would have liked the movie better if I hadn’t read the book. It wasn’t a bad movie I just prefer the book (said every bookworm ever). This sort of reminds me of The Hot Chick even though Sam wasn’t the most popular or the meanest of the bunch.
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