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Jenn's Book Reviews

Hello lovelies! You can either call me Jenn or Jay, which ever you like. I'm a Canadian college student, currently studying Photography. I'm an avid book reader & writer, spending most of my free time either reading, writing or taking artistic photographs. Visit my other blog http://dauntlesslydivergent.wordpress.com/

Before I Fall

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver Before I Fall is a powerful emotional and psychological journey. The novel is one that makes you feel what the characters feel and relate to what the characters experience throughout the story. The story revolves around one girl in particular, Samantha Kingston, whom is stuck living out the last day of her life over and over again, seven times to be exact. On each day nothing changes unless something Sam does differently affects the outcome. Every day is a new roller coaster of emotions for Sam because, as each day passes, she gets closer to the truth of what happened to cause her death and why, as well as realizing the purpose of being giving a second chance. You’d think that having to re-read the same day over again for seven days would be boring, but once Sam makes different decisions, everything changes which keeps your attention. Towards the end, I could barely put the book down because I always wanted to know what would happen next, but I also didn't want to pick it up since I knew the inevitable would happen; Sam’s final death. This novel had me torn.
What makes this novel so interesting is that it’s from the point of view of a character that is extremely popular and mean to those who aren't, which makes it that if you weren't her friend chances are she’d be highly unlikable. I've personally never read a book from this type of point of view, which is one of the components that kept me interested. At first, I absolutely hate the character Sam was and would constantly think “you’re going to get what’s coming for you” but towards the end my heart broke when I realized that she most likely not going to wake up from this limbo state. As the story continues, Sam tries her best to right the wrongs she done, but the heartbreaking reality is; it’s simply too late. The aspects of the novel that causes it to be psychological is when Sam begins to understand why she became the way she was prior to the accident, and starts to see the damage and hurt she’s caused other people; whether it was emotional or verbal. The character most affected by the abuse, from Sam and her friends, is Juliet. When Sam discovers that Juliet’s suicide was jumping in front of her car , which leads to the accident that caused Sam’s death, she tries to help Juliet and prevent the suicide from happening. One of the many things Sam does to do this is visiting her home; “The door swings open, and a woman stands there, blinking at me confusedly: Juliet’s mother.”
While doing all she can to change the past, she slowly falls in love with Kent, a boy whom she used to be best friends with before she became popular. At first, she claims she doesn't understand him: “ I've never understood Kent. Or at least I haven’t understood him in years.” She clearly states after words that they had been best friends, but since middle school has become weird, she also describes him by saying “Since freshman year he’s always worn a blazer to school, even though most the of ones he owns are ripped at the seams or have holes in the elbows. He wears the same scuffed-up black-and-white checkered sneakers every day and his hair is so long it’s like a curtain that swings down over his eyes every five seconds.” It was at a party he was hosting where she realized she loved him and never gave him a chance to show her his true self, that the inside made up for what he looked like on the outside.
While reading this book, I was so surprised at how the writing portrayed emotions to perfectly that I could too feel what the characters where experiencing. I've never experienced a book that could make my heart leap; make me smile and cry all at the same time. Given that Sam was re-living the same day over again, it was a surprise at how much she could change just by taking different decisions. You see Sam make the same mistakes a few times, but once she realizes that her only way out of this limbo she’s experiencing may be by having to take a different course, you see the growth that her character makes and how much more conscience she is of the things does and decisions she makes. The growth you see Sam go through makes you think about your own life and if some of the decisions you’ve made has affected the outcome of certain things in life. Once you experience the same emotions as Sam, you feel closer to the character and feel as if you were a part of the story taking place. Before I Fall is an amazing novel that is all about learning and growing and is one that can guide you to make to be more conscience of the decisions you take. Being a teenager around the same age as the characters , I quite enjoyed reading about what Sam was going through, and realizing how much I can relate to a fictional character whose personality is so far from my own. When picking up this novel, never had I thought I’d be feeling so many emotions or thinking so much about my own life by reading about Sam’s, which made reading such an exciting experience. Before I Fall is a novel that I highly recommend to teens sixteen and up.