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Before I Fall | [Lauren Oliver]

Before I Fall

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, February 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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: 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, February 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.

©2010 Lauren Oliver (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Oliver, in a pitch-perfect teen voice, explores the power we have to affect the people around us in this intensely believable first novel...This is a compelling book with a powerful message and should not be missed." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1093 )
5 star
 (455)
4 star
 (355)
3 star
 (178)
2 star
 (62)
1 star
 (43)
Overall
4.0 (894 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (48)
1 star
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Story
4.2 (894 )
5 star
 (466)
4 star
 (260)
3 star
 (111)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (24)
Performance
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  •  
    Callie parowan, UT, USA 05-02-10
    Callie parowan, UT, USA 05-02-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    I myself am a teenager, and i was very surprised at how realistic this book is. It is one of the few books that shows how hard being in high school really is. The plot line is beautiful and i could see Sam the whole time in my mind. I must admit that i did cry at the end, but i am so glad that i bought this book. It is a must read for any teenage girl in high school.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Word Nerd United States 04-02-13
    Word Nerd United States 04-02-13 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    139
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    35
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Groundhog day for teens"

    It took me several attempts to get through this book. I hated Sam and her friends from day one, and I know that was the point, but by the time I got to chapter two, I was looking forward to her dying. Imagine my dismay when the moment finally arrives and instead of dying, she awakens to her alarm clock. My review/observations:

    1) Samantha's story was bad enough the first time. Why on earth would I want to reread the same scenes seven times! It was torture.

    2) I am not sure how Lauren Oliver got away with stealing the plot for Groundhog Day. It's the same story. The main character is a shallow, self-centered, mean, jerk who relives his/her day over and over and over until he/she finally gets a clue. Just because you make the main character a teenage girl instead of a middle aged man doesn't make it a unique plot.

    3) Sarah Drew can narrate just fine if she's just reading Sam's perspective. As soon as another character comes in, Drew switches to this constipated zombie voice. She did the same thing in the Delirium series (I thought Lena's aunt was part frog). It drove me crazy in that series and drove me crazy again in this book. Can't you just read another character's conversation without giving them a mental deficiency? Lindsay's voice was so creepy, I wanted to run her over with a Land Rover myself. And I really think the narration hurt the story, because it kept me from sympathizing with the supporting characters.

    4) The worst part was the ending. I hope I'm not giving too much away by saying that when the moment FINALLY came Lauren Oliver skipped right over it. I had to read through seven accidents, seven non-existent scenarios. The least you could do is tell me which one was real and what exactly happened. Who lived? Who died? What was the point of the Juliette story if you don't even tell us what happened to her in the end? What happened to the friends, who didn't get 7 chances? I suffered through 10 hours of Groundhog Day and I didn't even get closure.

    I am glad I finally finished listening, but I have to say that I regret the download. The Delirium series was also filled with unlikable characters, but at least the storyline was unique and the writing was done well. Aside from Drew's zombie frog voice, I enjoyed THAT series. "Before I Fall" not so much. That's just my opinion; I know a lot of people loved this book.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FanB14 06-20-15
    FanB14 06-20-15

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5321
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    157
    143
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    404
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Why is this always near the top of YA lists?"

    Pure dribble. Idiotic nonsense. Would return, but it's a BOGO. If you like intelligent, witty YA, do not listen to this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Sonora, CA, United States 10-20-13
    Kathryn Sonora, CA, United States 10-20-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly Satisfying"
    What did you love best about Before I Fall?

    i like the differences between each day


    What about Sarah Drew’s performance did you like?

    you were in the moment


    Any additional comments?

    the details. color and sound . the beautiful writing is really showcased by this reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Georgetown, TX, United States 08-15-13
    Donna Georgetown, TX, United States 08-15-13 Member Since 2015

    I only have two vices in life, wine and my audible books. I will cut you if you try to take either one from me!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    129
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "SURPRISINGLY GOOD"
    If you could sum up Before I Fall in three words, what would they be?

    Had my Attention!


    What other book might you compare Before I Fall to and why?

    It was a different kind of book.


    Which character – as performed by Sarah Drew – was your favorite?

    Sam, of course


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    She kept reliving the same day over and over, and each time, she had a different and new perspective on the events that were unfolding. It was like a life time of 'lessons' that we learn and finally grow up she had them all in a week's time frame. How many times do we wish we could 'go back' knowing what you know?!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LL 06-27-13
    LL 06-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    54
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If I Had it to do All Over Again..."

    This story starts out with a very harsh look at teenaged friends. Lots of drinking, lots of sex and lots of bullying. The main character relives the same day over and over again in order to correct some of her mistakes. What I found most interesting is how her perceptions of what was going on with others was often so off the mark and how actions have consequences that aren't always predictable. Sarah Drew is a terrific narrator and brought the story to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CyndiLooWho 05-15-13
    CyndiLooWho 05-15-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    105
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good choice for a Teen - Excellent Narration"
    Would you try another book from Lauren Oliver and/or Sarah Drew?

    Yes!


    Have you listened to any of Sarah Drew’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Sarah Drew is one of my favorite narrators. I chose this book because of her and was pleased with my choice.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was placed on the Summer Reading list at the school I work at and I think it's a good choice. I hated the characters at the beginning, but it seemed I was supposed to, so I kept going to see how things would evolve. I'm happy with the book, and loved the narration. It would be a good book for those new to Audible. It would also be a good book for a parent and teen to read together as it would bring a lot of important topics of conversation up in a relatively non-threatening way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MOODY, TEXAS, United States 05-05-13
    Amazon Customer MOODY, TEXAS, United States 05-05-13 Member Since 2013

    Love to read and listen to books. I prefer detective stories, but also read some sci fi.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Good Listening"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Before I Fall to be better than the print version?

    I have only listened to this book; however it was very nice.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Before I Fall?

    When she finally gets it. She realizes that even though her friends may be shallow, they still have some redeeming qualities and they have reasons for the way that they behave. she believes that there is still hope for them.


    What does Sarah Drew bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Sarah put alot of emphasis into the story, thus bringing out the feelings of the listener.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did not have an extreme reaction. I did laugh at one point and I was very sad several times through out the story. I also was angry with Lindsey and the girls for their snobbish ways.we


    Any additional comments?

    This is not my normal type of book but it was well worth the listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Medellin Sylmar, CA USA 04-19-13
    Marie Medellin Sylmar, CA USA 04-19-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sam, hated her, loved her, cried for her! AWESOME!"

    Just have to say. I borrowed this audio from the library and I loved it so much I had to buy it for my collection!!! Let me start off with the narration. AWESOME! Sarah Drew did it again. She is one of my favorite narrators! Lauren Oliver, you blew me away! This book/audiobook was beautiful, moving and heart wrenching. Oliver's writing grabbed me and pulled me in. Yes, this was something of a "teenage groundhog day" but with a very needed message for our youth. (I wish this book was written when I was in highschool.) I think this is an awesome book for all teens to read. Oliver does a wonderful job conveying high school life and the repercussions brought on by thoughtless and negative actions towards others. Sam, a highschool senior, is made to live her last day alive over and over again in order to find out what really matters in life and what matters to herself. Oliver has you loving and hating almost every character at one point or another in this emotional roller coaster of a story. I was angry and repulsed. I laughed and cried. I was in love and I hated. In the end I was reminded to pay attention to how I live my life and treat those who are in it. With a word, look, touch or action we can inspire or break a life. Truly life influencing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather 02-12-12
    Heather 02-12-12 Member Since 2009

    Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    101
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    43
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Performer rocks! Story good but predictable."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book only to females and only to those that were popular in high school. I'm a sci-fi fan so I was hoping for more out of this book but it's just a coming-of-age genre.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It was exactly what I thought it would be so I was kinda disappointed that the premise was so basic.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Her reaction to her teacher making out with her. We've all been there...where the guy is all into it and you're just staring at the ceiling thinking...this is lame. And then later how after that she can only see him mauling her. ha!


    Could you see Before I Fall being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I actually would like it better as a movie than as a book. American audiences usually aren't as tolerant of sad stories but perhaps.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book with its imagery and beautiful, but not overused, metaphors. I can definitely tell that this author was a born (and trained) writer. I did not give it a higher rating because there's not anything more to the book than the synopsis suggests. The book touched me, but not as much as I had hoped. That said, I hope the author will write something more ambitious so we can enjoy her writing with more interesting premise.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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