My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"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." -Goodreads.com
Here we go through the life, or afterlife, of Samantha Kingston as she peels back, layer after layer and day after day, the understanding of not just other peoples lives, but her own as well.
“I’m dead, but I can’t stop living.” (220)
This book left me speechless, or perhaps full of so many different thoughts, as it’s hard to put into words. Samantha wanted more than anything to change the outcome of her death, only to learn that it goes much deeper than that, to the point of Sam wanting more than anything to change the outcome of other people’s lives. She’s seen the mistakes she made over and over again in different angles, situations and impacts. Sam’s learned more about her friends and their impact on other’s. She’s learned that the root of people’s treatment of others evolves from others treatment of them, to the point that it’s passed along like a virus, infecting and affecting everyone.
“Most of the time one night blends into the next, and weeks blend into weeks, and months into other months. And sooner or later we all die.” (58)
Juliet. I feel like Juliet. All throughout the book I know it hit home in some way or another. I too remember and hold on towards the things that wronged me, but it’s something deeper; it’s not just me who is Juliet, my life is Juliet. It hit close to home as I saw my life through her eyes. Before I Fall made me feel... I don’t know, not understanding, maybe a bit more accepting of my helplessness of my mom and sad’s suicidal state of mind. In that instant, I then felt like Sam, wanting to stop things, rewind them and try again. Failing and feeling helpless. Sam’s moment of thoughtless sacrifice. Don’t worry about yourself, just the way you affect others in life, hope you did the right thing and then pray that it’s good enough.
“My point is: maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten... But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.” (268)
Lauren Oliver first impressed me with Delirium, when I first experienced her wonderful way of putting forth an image to her readers. Her writing style is fluid, descriptive and poetic as she takes us through Sam’s troubled mind. As Oliver gives out, day after day, a life equation that throws in and out several variables towards the understanding of a different, hopefully better (but not always) outcome, Before I Fall takes on the challenge of changing how we perceive others, and how our actions can become a catalyst not just for our own lives, but others as well.
“...because of course, I haven’t been falling all this time.
I’ve been flying.” (416)
First Line: "They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that's not how it happened for me." (3)
Last Line: "The rest you have to find out for yourself." (470)
"The whole point of growing up is learning to stay on the laughing side." (5)
"The melody starts repeating in my head and I know I'll be singing it for days. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow. A beautiful word, when you really think about it." (77)
"A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets." (107)
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Kindle Edition, 484 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by HarperCollins