What would you do if you could re-live your last day before your death? What would you change? What would you keep? What would you cherish?
Those are the questions facing Samantha “Sam” Kensington in Lauren Oliver’s debut novel Before I Fall.
Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-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 had ever imagined.
At first, I really liked this book. It was a young adult version of Groundhog Day, only much more serious. Oliver did a fabulous job of capturing all the emotion and angst of a typical teenage girl. I liked how Oliver shows Sam’s range of emotions and how she grows as she continually repeats her last day. But it was that continued repetition of the last day that finally got to me. For me, there were a few too many repetitions. I found myself just wishing the story would conclude.
I’m not sorry I read the book, but it just wasn’t quite as good as I had expected. Most female teen readers I know would probably enjoy this book. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I will say that after being frustrated with how long it took to get to the ending, the ending does redeem the book somewhat.