Before I FallBook - 2011
From the critics
Age SuitabilityAdd Age Suitability
violet_panda_971 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over
green_elephant_859 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
QuotesAdd a Quote
“A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.”
"'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.'"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Things change after you die, though- I guess because dying is about the loneliest thing you can do."
"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."
"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."
"Here's another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you're dead, it's the only thing that keeps you alive."
Coarse Language: The curse words but the words that almost every 11-13 year old person knows
Sexual Content: The main character and her friends talk about losing virginity and make sexual jokes, a lot.
Frightening or Intense Scenes: The ending can be very intense for some. One characters fate is very sad and can make people upset.
Coarse Language: The characters swear very much in this book and Sam thinks it very much, too.
SummaryAdd a Summary
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.