Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review - Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver 
Year: 2010
Page: 470
Genre: Fiction - Young Adult

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
What if you had only 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—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.

First Sentence:
They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that's not how it happened for me.

My Thoughts:

Why this book?
  • Read lots of good reviews. So Many Books, So Little Time's review persuaded me to put it on my TBR list. While YA is not my favorite genre, I like reading them every so often if I want a fast, light read. And this book seems to be one of the Top 10 of many bloggers' favorite reads in 2010.
  • I actually borrowed this book before, started reading a few pages, then returned to the library because I couldn't get into it. I didn't mark it as Did Not Finish then because I felt like I just wasn't in the mood for it, but may give it a try later. Usually if I make it as DNF, I probably won't give it a second chance. But when I saw there were still so many positive reviews, I decided to pick it up again
First thought:
  • I can see why others like it, but it's just okay for me
Cover Art:
  • Before I read the book - looks fine, indifferent. After I read the book - can understand better why the cover was chosen, but I think it'd make more sense if it was set at night with snow, as opposed to sunlight and grass
  • Not bad. Guess described the story without giving too much away. The title itself doesn't intrigue me though
  • Pretty easy to read, like most YA. Straight forward. I don't know many teenagers though so I can't tell you if that's how teens speak these days
  • Many said it's like Groundhog Day (the movie) - I have never watched it so can't comment on that. Interesting concept, but got a bit repetitive after a while, especially since it is 470 pages long... Also a bit predictable for me, even when some past events were revealed
  • Can't really say I can relate to any of the characters - I was not one of the popular girls and really had no desire to hang around girls like the main protagonist and her friends in the book, even if everyone else wanted to be them
  • None of the characters really stood out to me - they aren't prefect and have their faults which I guess make them realistic. Just that nobody made me go "wow, I wish I have a friend like that!" or "I wish I am like that!" If I really have to choose, probably Kent, Sam's childhood friend who she ditched as she became popular.
  • Predictable for me. But I guess at least it DOES have an ending, as I feared it would continue on and on and on...
  • Didn't get too emotional... probably because I really didn't care too much about any of the characters
  • I think I would enjoy this book more had I read it as a teenager. While this book does have a message, it didn't really tell me more than what I already know
Read this Author again?
  • Depends on the topic

Overall Rating: 3 Stars - It's Okay... Didn't Waste My Time (Too Much)

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.


  1. I've heard the Groundhog Day comparison, too. Maybe I'll just re-watch that movie instead of reading this book.

  2. I loved this book, but I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone!

  3. Thanks for your honesty Christa. I promised myself not to read any YA that isn't completely pulling me because like you feel like they are not meant for me at this age.

    I think I am going to pass on Before I Fall now, I trust you completely and the hype doesn't help.

    It is a longer YA and now you say a little repetitive, hmmm, yup, won't read.

  4. Thanks for the comment and for linking to your review on my site! I have to say, I am somewhat relieved to see your 3 star review because everyone has seemed to rave about Before I Fall... I just didn't feel that way, but obviously we're entitled to our own opinions :) My favorite part of your review: "at least it DOES have an ending, as I feared it would continue on and on and on." Well said!

    new follower, by the way

  5. Oops I didn't know I hadn't replied to the January comments!

    @Charley - maybe I need to watch the movie to see if I like it better :)

    @rhapsodyinbooks - I am kinda picky about YA - I am definitely judging it from an adult's perspective rather than reading it to see if it's good for YA to read...

    @Marce - It was an interesting concept and the majority of reviews are positive. I guess I just felt like this book can be sum up in a few sentences instead... maybe because the "lessons learned" there isn't anything new to me.

    @Bailey - thanks for visiting and following! I have subscribed to your blog via RSS too. I thought there was something wrong with me when I didn't think this book was THAT good. Yeah I would have been mad if this book has an ambiguous ending!

  6. As you know, I liked this book less than you did, but you said everything I felt. However, I do feel like I wasted my time. :(

    1. I looked back, and this was the first fiction I read in 2011, so I was probably being generous... now I look back, it's probably more of a 2-2.5 for me. It has potential but just way too long. I heard Delirium is good though and since I like YA dystopian so may still give it a try.