Before I Fall

Before I Fall

Book - 2010
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After she dies in a car crash, teenaged Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.
Publisher: New York : Harper, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061726804
Branch Call Number: TEEN OLI
Characteristics: 470 p. ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Mar 24, 2020

Before I Fall is a well written novel with an interesting story line. It is about a girl who dies and has to repeat the same day until she gets it “right”. With no way to escape or convince others of her plight she is left to reflect upon her life, choices, and values. I enjoyed reading this novel however, I believe it has one downfall, its portrayal of the main character. I was terribly disappointed in the vapid two dimensional protagonist. Although the protagonist develops as a character throughout the novel, I thought the initial “popular girl with everything” portrayal of the protagonist was boring, lazy, and uncreative. Despite its downfalls I believe the book provokes reflection within its readers. However if you can stomach stereotypes, I would recommend this book. It falls - in every imaginable way- under the category of teen fiction. Rating : 3/5 stars.
@Dream.Sequences of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Feb 19, 2020

It is both a great movie and a great book. I've read this book twice. It really shows you how you treat people can have an affect on them. I love this book a lot. It's so great!!

Imagine if you got to relive your last day over and over again to try and account for your mistakes? Teenager Samantha Kingston lives a charmed life—she’s got awesome friends, a cute boyfriend, and all of the perks that come with popularity. When she dies in a car crash, she gets a chance to re-evaluate her life and make some changes by living the events of her fateful last day over and over. I was surprised by how compelling I found this book, considering its “Groundhog Day scenario”. Samantha isn’t a nice character, but I was drawn to her experience and I couldn’t put this book down. (submitted by MR)

Feb 24, 2018

The effect on the reader is really strong in this story. At first we might dislike the main character, Sam, because she is best friends with the Queen Bee. She is not nice. But we also agree with what she says; she tells brutal truths. Kent does indeed sound weird through the description of his hair and bowler hat. However, when Sam reflects on her deaths it makes the reader reflect upon the effect that they had. As Sam goes through her development, the novel makes the reader reflect on their thoughts and actions as well. The ending was provocative and shocking, but definitely very satisfying with a strong sense of closure.

LoganLib_Kirra Feb 19, 2018

Before I Fall is an absolutely sweeping story about cruel teenagers, redemption, mistakes and human behaviour. This book completely knocked me off my feet by how easy it was to be absorbed in and once I opened it I didn't want to stop for anything. Samantha dies at the start of the book in a horrible car crash after a party and then wakes up to relive the same day again for seven days until she realises what she has to do. I loved this book because it brought me back to my teenage years in the time this book was released and I ended up really caring for Sam, her friends, her family and the other main characters of the book.

Jan 06, 2018

This book takes place on Cupid Day, which is basically Valentine's Day full of roses. You can buy roses for your friends and write messages on them. It is a day full of competition and crying, because the more roses you get, the more popular you must be. If you read (and love) this book, which everybody should, I would definitely recommend watching the movie. There are slight differences, like the outfits and sesame bagels *hehe*, but honestly it doesn't matter.

Dec 11, 2017

Before I Fall is one of my all time favorite books. I read it a month or so before the movie came out, and I have to admit, the book was much better than the movie. It is a beautifully written (and extremely realistic) story by Lauren Oliver about Samantha Kingston, who relives her life several times to find a way in which she can survive a deadly car crash she suffered, all while learning terrifying secrets about her loved ones. This book is chair-gripping and there will definitely be moments when you will be laughing aloud, while at other times, the story will be too sad and heart-breaking. Definitely a must read for any teen. As for the movie, it doesn't share the whole story. It is an alright movie to watch when you have nothing to do, but do not expect much from it. A lot of the important scenes have been altered or completely deleted. Many of my friends told me not to watch the movie, but I watched it anyways. So, for me, the movie wasn't disappointing because I already knew it wasn't good. Had I not known, the movie would have probably been a huge disappointment compared to the book.

Oct 23, 2017

What would you do differently if you had to relive the same day only to die in the end?

Check out my review of "Before I Fall" on my blog at:

Aug 04, 2017

A beautiful story that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. A good read for when you have a lot of time- it's hard to put down! The characters are realistic, but a bit repetitive.

Lease6470 Apr 17, 2017

A little to repetitive, but overall a good book.

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Age Suitability

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Mar 19, 2019

black_panther_2532 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jan 16, 2019

gracehagedorn thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 12, 2017

siagaind thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Sep 24, 2017

black_pony_62 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 09, 2017

blue_tiger_5319 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Mar 30, 2015

violet_panda_971 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Sep 25, 2013

kay_0316 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 22, 2013

green_elephant_859 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Shelbs123 Jul 07, 2013

Shelbs123 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Red_Dog_2036 Jul 05, 2013

Red_Dog_2036 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Add a Quote
Jul 21, 2015

“A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.”

May 23, 2015

"'Are you ever afraid to go to sleep? Afraid of what comes next?'
He smiles a sad little smile and I swear it's like he knows. 'Sometimes I'm afraid of what I'm leaving behind.'"

May 23, 2015

"So many things become beautiful when you really look."

May 23, 2015

"It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It's never occurred to me before: I've never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of those different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different."

May 23, 2015

"I suppose that's the secret, if you're ever wishing for things to go back to the way they were. You just have to look up."

May 23, 2015

"She said that the reason you can never go home again- we were studying a list of famous quotes and discussing their meaning, and that was one of them, by Thomas Wolfe, "You can't go home again"-isn't necessarily that places change, but that people do. So nothing ever looks the same."

May 23, 2015

"Things change after you die, though- I guess because dying is about the loneliest thing you can do."

May 23, 2015

"Here's one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It's like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there's no one around to hear it.
You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That's how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to bust out of orbit, to spin out to a place where no one can touch you. To love yourself-to get lost."

May 23, 2015

"As I head up from the gym it strikes me how strange people are. You can see them every day-you can think you know them- and then you find out you hardly know them at all."

May 23, 2015

"Here's another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you're dead, it's the only thing that keeps you alive."

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Add Notices
May 18, 2014

Sexual Content: TONS.

Shelbs123 Jul 07, 2013

Coarse Language: The curse words but the words that almost every 11-13 year old person knows

Red_Dog_2036 Jul 05, 2013

Coarse Language: There a lot of curse words in this book.

Red_Dog_2036 Jul 05, 2013

Sexual Content: The main character and her friends talk about losing virginity and make sexual jokes, a lot.

bookgeek101 Dec 08, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: The ending can be very intense for some. One characters fate is very sad and can make people upset.

bookgeek101 Dec 08, 2012

Coarse Language: The characters swear very much in this book and Sam thinks it very much, too.

bookgeek101 Dec 08, 2012

Sexual Content: Sam wants to lose her virginity and have many innuendos.

Aug 14, 2012

Coarse Language: Swearing, innuendos

Aug 14, 2012

Sexual Content: innuendos, losing virginity is part of storyline

OliviaSh May 07, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

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Add a Summary
Jul 16, 2016

Samantha Kingston's one of four queen bees at her high school. She's pretty, has a hot boyfriend and doesn't associate with the lower class students. Until one night, she dies. Sam wakes up the next day only to relive the same day over and over again, each day bringing different experiences and ending with an unfortunate event. Sam has to find a way to end the repetitive loop but in doing so, she opens up new friendships, new boys and a new perspective on life.

After years of being the "weird kid" Samantha Kingston is finally one of the popular kids. Life is going really good for her, as she has good looks and a boyfriend everyone is jealous of. Then one day, life changes. Well, more like ends. But she still wakes up the next day, living the same day over again for a week. In this fast-paced, thrilling book, Samantha goes through many adventures to find out who she really is.

Feb 07, 2015

Sam Kingston is the most popular girl at her high school. On cupid day she wakes up and goes to school like every other day of her life. Then, that evening, she and her friends go to a party, and on the way back get in a accident where Sam is killed. But the next day, she wakes up and it's cupid day again. This happens 7 times and Sam begins to realize that she can make a change. Do the riskier thing. Because she knows that tomorrow, she gets a chance to do everything over again.

Shelbs123 Jul 07, 2013

On page 1 of the novel, we learn that the protagonist, 17-year-old Samantha "Sam" Kingston, is killed in a car accident in her hometown of Ridgeview, Connecticut. (This is also mentioned on the back of the book.) She vividly describes her horrifying and painful death, and what flashes through her mind in those final seconds. However, she wakes up the following morning in bed, heart pounding and bathed in sweat, with the memory of her demise still fresh in her mind. Gradually, she realizes that for some reason, she is fated to relive the last day of her life, February 12, over and over, until she gets things right. Throughout the week, Samantha, who seemingly had it all - popularity, an oft-desired boyfriend, and surface-level happiness - must examine what's really important in her "Mean Girls" life, in which she and her snobby, wealthy friends - Lindsay (the ringleader), Ally and Elody - made life miserable for underclassmen and social misfits, a life in which all that seems to matter is social status, clothes, boys, drinking and sex. Furthermore, through this "Groundhog Day" phenomenon, Sam experiences all five stages of grief; denial (this can't be happening) is seen as she tries to evade her fate; she gets angry and rebells, lashing out at her friends (particularly Lindsay) and hanging out with students she would never dare be seen speaking with; she bargains with God, or fate, believing that if she can make things right, she can save her own life; depression, in which she feels that nothing even matters and wherein she begins acting uncharacteristically recklessly (stealing her mother's credit card, making a pass at a teacher, flashing a carful of college boys, etc.); and finally, acceptance. The Sam who accepts her death - but only if she's able to save the life of her friends' prime target - is a very different character from the girl on the first page of the book.

Apr 28, 2011

We get to know Sam and her friends at the beginning of the story, leading up to a crash that takes Sam's life. You have to be patient as you are introduced to them because they are not likeable at all. Just when you think you've had enough of them, they are in a deadly crash. That's not the end of the story, though, only the beginning.

Sam goes into a sort of sleep following the accident and awakens to relive her last day. Will changing something along the way lead to a different result? She tries, and tries again, and again. In fact she gets numerous attempts to "perfect" her last day, hoping she can make the most of her life...and her death if she can't undo the accident.

The story line is addicting and suspenseful. and as each "day" passes and Sam begins to get things right, the question that has been looming in the back of your mind since the end of the first chapter--What will happen to Sam?--becomes more and more urgent.

My main issue is that the bullying was not... `properly' addressed throughout the book. It's mentioned and there are little things that happen that sort of mock Lindsay and her crew, but there is no overall sense of punishment, and I hate that. Especially for people who are so out and out horrible. I wish that as a final stand Sam had stood up to them a little more strongly and kind of put them in their place other than her random remarks here and there. I also wish there could have been some more time between Sam and Kent, more for him then for her to remember.

Oliver is skillful at wielding suspense and heartbreak, making you think hard about the value of your own life and actions.

Before I Fall is a haunting and beautiful book. It will float around at the back of your mind long after you've read it.

Nov 07, 2010

The back:
What if..
What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High-- from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, Febuary 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance.

Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death-- and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

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