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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 (794 )
5 star
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4.0 (625 )
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4.2 (621 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bluemoon PHOENIX, AZ, United States 05-03-12
    Bluemoon PHOENIX, AZ, United States 05-03-12

    I am addicted to Audible! I spend many hours listening while knitting or bonding over a great story with my family.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    Story
    "Great story... but not for kids!"

    I originally purchased this story for my twelve year-old daughter and I to listen to together. We didn't even make it through ten minutes before I realized that this was not going to be an appropriate choice for her. There are far too many references regarding drugs/drinking and sex (and not in a don't do them sort of way). Nevertheless, I decided to give this book a chance on my own, mainly because I didn't want to waste a credit, and was very happy that I did.

    Despite the "older audience" themes, this story did offer some great life lessons. The main character is forced to re-live the same day over again, and in this process, discovers some great insights into how her and her friends actions impact those around them. It is also a story of self discovery. Lauren Oliver writes this in a way that is very human and believable and it feels like she may be drawing from some of her own past experiences. Not only does this story offer some great messages, it is also very entertaining. The narrator sounds very young and fits this role perfectly. She is also very expressive and a joy to listen to. I would recommend this story, but only for a 15+ audience!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny Westland, MI, United States 03-20-10
    Penny Westland, MI, United States 03-20-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful."

    At first glance Before I Fall seems to be a typical YA novel about a teenage girl and her journey toward self-discovery, but it didn't take long for me to realize it is so much more.

    First off, this book is incredibly well written--I love this. The descriptions, storyline, character development: beautiful. I loved all of it so much I couldn't help but run out and purchase a hardback copy of this book immediately after I finished listening to the audio book, so I might reread the many beautiful passages contained in the book as many times as I'd like without having to rewind. That being said, I'll never regret purchasing the audio book format. It is well worth having and will listen to it over and over again.

    Second: the fact that this audio book left me breathless more times then I can count. This book, combined with the fantastic/flawless performance by Sarah Drew resulted in the ultimate listening experience.

    Sarah Drew's performance really did this book justice--she's the perfect fit. She was so good that I will purchase other audio books in which she is the narrator.

    Third: how I couldn't stop thinking about this book after I was finished with it.

    I love this book. It's fantastic, beautiful, lovely, wonderful. I'm glad I purchased it. It is more then credit-worthy.

    40 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alcairha White Plains, NY United States 03-08-11
    Alcairha White Plains, NY United States 03-08-11 Member Since 2004
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    "Wish I could give it 6 stars!!"

    This has to be one of the most wonderful books I've ever listened to- and coming from someone who's been reading/listening to at least 2 books per month for 40 years, that's saying a lot! It starts out as "Mean Girls" meets "Groundhog Day" , but then becomes so much more - a meditation on the meaning of life and what it means to love, all told with the utterly believable voice of a 17 year old girl, who keeps reliving the last day of her life until she gets it right. The story unravels with enough twists and turns so that the suspense never flags. The writing is outstanding, every character, every scene springs to life, but the descriptions are never tedious. And finally, the narrator is superb. A poor narrator can really ruin a good book, but this one is perfect for this book. Do yourself s favor and get this audiobook

    25 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gena United States 09-29-10
    Gena United States 09-29-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Mesmerizing"

    This was by far one of the best books I've listened to. First off, let me say that the narrator was amazing. She seemed to perfectly capture the characters and make you genuinely feel for even the seemingly most unredeemable of them. The prose was at times compelling and at other times shocking and heartbreaking. A truly amazing book and a good reality check for everyone, not just the "mean girls." I typically only listen to audiobooks during my commute but I found myself being so absorbed in the story and desperate to find out what happens in the the end that I ended up listening long into the night. Be warned, this book will make you think, make you smile, laugh and especially cry. I am really looking forward to future projects from this author as well as the narrator.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Stockton, UT, United States 05-02-13
    Janice Stockton, UT, United States 05-02-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A powerful story with the perfect narrator."
    What did you love best about Before I Fall?

    The best part of the story was Sam discovering who everyone is on a deeper level by getting small glimpses into their personal lives. By learning about all their true nature she ultimately discovers herself and what was important in life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sam was my favorite character. The listener can go on the journey with her and see how she changes with each day. I love the things that she learns and thinks about as the story progresses.


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

    The narrator was perfect for this story. You could feel Sam's emotions. I've never listened to a narration with such perfect settle emotions.


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

    The story made me think a lot about people and how there is always more going on than what's on the surface. It also made me think a lot about the timing and impact of simple events.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Montevallo, AL, United States 04-21-11
    Heather Montevallo, AL, United States 04-21-11 Member Since 2010

    HBomb

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    "Great Narrator!"

    I love Lauren Oliver's books, the narrator is one of the best narrators I have come across!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L 03-20-11
    L 03-20-11 Member Since 2009
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    "So Good"

    The writing is so good in this book, keeps you hanging on from beginning to end, the characters are so believable, I loved and hated them all at one point of the book or the other - just like in highschool but as good as the book was the narration by Sarah Drew really set the tone, I have since downloaded every book she's narrated, I hope Grey's Anatomy doesn't take her away from this entirely because as good as a book is if the narrating is grating and annoying I can't even get through it, then I have to turn around and buy it again in print form

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Kalama, WA, United States 07-25-10
    Anne Kalama, WA, United States 07-25-10
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    "fantastic story, fantastic narrator"

    This book was engaging from start to finish. The narrator was wonderful. This was a book that reminds me why I prefer books on audio: A good narrator brings the story to life in a way that you can't get on your own by just reading the text. I highly recommend this book, and not just for the YA audience.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara Greenville, SC, United States 02-18-11
    Tara Greenville, SC, United States 02-18-11
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    "Beautiful narration and writing"

    You adult fiction has such a special place in my heart, and now so does this book. I am so impressed with the talent of Sarah Drew's reading, and absolutely love Lauren Oliver's beautiful descriptive writing! Am a fan of both ladies now and look forward to what they each do next.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monika ST PETERSBURG, FL, United States 02-03-13
    Monika ST PETERSBURG, FL, United States 02-03-13 Member Since 2010

    Sci-Fi Enthusiast

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    "Teenager - Groundhog Day"
    What disappointed you about Before I Fall?

    I despised smoking and the fact that this book glorifies bad, out of control youngsters, made it extra hard for me to get into the story. I can't identify to the high school experience described in this book. My upbringing & school experience was very different. If nothing else I hope that this book teaches those who chose to continue to populate the earth how important it is to care and to connect, to understand the challenges in your children's life and the need to guide and challenge the status quo in order to break the horrible pattern depicted in this book.


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

    The ending to me was confusing and left me feeling empty after I was able to force myself to not abandon the book.


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

    Kent is probably my favorite besides Sam herself.


    Any additional comments?

    I hated this book and I liked the book. I did not in any shape or form love the book. The story is infuriating most times but touching other times. A reminder of how our actions make a difference in other people's life, whether we acknowledge that or not. It was also yet another reminder that life is too short.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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