Before I Fall is a book written by Lauren Oliver and follows the story of Samantha Kingston, who dies in a car crash the night of ‘Cupid’s Day’ (a fictional version of Valentine’s Day) and finds herself reliving the day over and over, and goes on a journey to figure out why.
This novel is obviously written for young adults - and while sometimes books in this genre cater to older generations as well, this is not one of them. Despite this, I liked the premise and was never tempted to put it down. If I’m honest though this is largely due to the fact that I have a 16-year-old in my life dealing with many of the same issues as our protagonist. The similarities between the two drew me in, because concern for my teenage friend has been riddling me as of late. Adults who can’t draw real-life comparisons may find themselves bored by all the teenage blabber.
At times Oliver’s attempts to speak the language of teenagers is grating. Hot tip: abbreviations like ‘u’ and ‘r’ have become unnecessary since the introduction of quirky keyboards. Needed more bad grammar, less stereotypical ‘Valley Girl’ chatter.
The book has been compared a lot to Groundhog Day (and makes a small reference to it, possibly Oliver’s failed attempt at stopping comparisons before they start) - but after the initial re-do I didn’t find myself making connections between the two. The dramatic arch is worlds away from that of Groundhog and it’s made clear from the start that Samantha is in fact dead.
All in all I enjoyed the book. I found myself struggling to put it down, despite a 3am wake-up call - always a good sign - and I was satisfied with the ending. But be warned, while it tackles some serious issues, it doesn’t do more than scratch the surface of each one. If you’re looking for something deep and dark, this isn’t the book for you.
This book has 3.92 stars on Good Reads.
You can pick up a copy of Before I Fall on the Best Sellers rack at any bookstore or buy it online here.
The film adaption, starring Zoey Deutch, is also playing in cinemas.