Before I Fall

April 21, 2017

Author: Lauren Oliver.


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.
(Goodreads Summary)

My Thoughts:

The concept was brilliant. Sam relives her death for seven days in a sort of last-ditch salvation from above, coming to a completely new understanding of the world. Not in a preachy moralistic way, but a kicking-the-heels-and-screaming-as-she’s-dragged-into-it way, as she relives her day all the different ways you might imagine a teenage girl would when she realizes there’ll be no consequences.

The execution of the concept was horrible. I came so, so close to not-finishing, and I can’t honestly recommend the book despite the concept. The MC starts out a nasty bully in a run-down highschool practically designed to create people like her, filled with drugs and smoking and lust. And the entire book is set there.

Content Review:

Sexual Content: Friend asks MC if she’s having sex tonight, and she says yes. (She made plans with her boyfriend, but it never happens.) MC thinking about her friend, “She lost her virginity sophomore year and by now had had sex with two different guys.” Kissing – some groping. MC makes out with her teacher (one incident, fairly heavy). Female characters dare each other to “flash them” referring to a couple boys they’re driving past.

Language: 30 scatological terms, 16 derogatory terms, 9 hell, 3 d***

Violence: There’s a car crash (experienced several times, from different points of view) in which someone dies. Kids shove girl around, dumping drinks on her head; there is some other bullying, words and shoving and ostracization.

Other: Teenagers smoking. Teenagers using drugs (not the MC but she interacts with another teenager taking drugs).


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