Before I Fall
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
What if you only had 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 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.
The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times 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.
Holy mackerel this story is a work of art, the structure is a work of art, the growth of the main character is a work of art. This book honestly blows any other YA Contemporary book out of the water. In fact it kind of blows Oliver's other books out of the water as well.
The book uses techniques often not applied in YA novels with the repeating of the same day to show how the character grows. From her first day to her last repeat, she takes each day slightly differently, putting what she learned in previous days to work.
Okay, honestly, what it comes down to is that this book is like someone replaying a Visual Novel (a game that is like a choose your own adventure book) over and over again to get all the information that they possibly can. Because Sam made a decision during one replay of the day that was different than another we learn so much more than we would have about different characters and how people see Sam.
Then there's the fact that you realize that Sam is mourning herself in these repeated days, she goes through all the stages, until finally she comes to acceptance and tries to help as much as she can, before she knows what has to happen.
This is a book that makes you think, makes you realize that everything isn't always how it seems, that there are pieces to people, even people you think you know completely that you don't know. How people aren't perfect and that's okay.
I didn't want Sam to die. I knew she had to, that this was her last day no matter what, but I fell so much in love with the person she became, with the relationships she had created, I didn't want her to go, so I cried like such a baby at the end. I honestly don't know if I'll be able to reread this book again because of how much it affected me, but I want to own it still.
Read this book, read this book even if you start and you are turned off by Sam and her friends as characters, in fact if that happens I recommend you read it even more because you will enjoy it so much more when they are all enravelled as characters.