Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
My Rating: 5/5
Short Review: Sam Kingston is a popular high school senior. She has three popular best friends – Lindsay, Ally and Elody – and a beautiful guitarist boyfriend – Rob – many girls dream about. So on February 12 – Cupid Day, when her main purpose is to get as many roses as she can, she dies in a terrible accident while driving from another party with her bffs.
When she wakes up the next morning she finds out that it is February 12. Again. Actually she will live February 12 for seven times and always something won’t work out with her. While living Cupid Day for 7 times she corrects her previous mistakes, falls in love and understands one simple truth about people:
“It strikes me how strange people are. You can see them every day – you can think you know them – and then you find out you hardly know them at all.”
I liked seeing how Sam changed on my eyes, how love changed her, and she correctly noted that:
“It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It’s never occurred to me before; I’ve never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like may be all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different.”
“I wonder if the real point of the dream was not that other people were transforming, but that I was”
“Here’s another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you’re dead it’s the only thing that keeps you alive”
I rarely reread books, but I’ll definitely make sure to reread this beauty sometime in the future!
My thoughts on this gorgeous book accompanied with some quotes from it:
At first I’d like to mention that through the main heroine and her friends weren’t good and I didn’t appreciate most of the things they did, the characters felt REAL! I’ve found many situations so close to my life, to me school life and I didn’t just read about them, I’ve also found answers how to avoid these uncomfortable situations , what to do, what to say so it looks like Lauren Oliver is a very good psycologist! Her books talk to me, to my heart, and make me feel so many different feelings at once! I wonder, HOW SHE DOES IT?! She makes me cry, smile and laugh along with the characters! And not every author can do it!!Now I’d like to share my thoughts on some characters and quotes from the book. (There is a highlighted sentence on almost every page of this book!)
Let’s begin with school issues, Lauren Oliver noted that:
“There’s always going to be a person laughing and somebody getting laughed at. It happens every day, in every school, in every town in America – probably in the world, for all I know. The whole point of growing up is learning to stay on the laughing side”
I hate being laughed at – I think everyone does – and that’s why I never laugh at somebody. But many teens like making fun of each other mostly without any reason, (some teens are cruel), I’ll use line from the book:
“’Why do you guys hate me? What’s the reason?’ – She says
‘I don’t know.’ Because it is easy. ‘I guess you need to take things out on somebody.’ The words are out of my mouth before I realize they’re true.”
“The thing is, we never really meant anything by it, you know? I don’t think I-we-really thought about it. It’s just the kind of thing that happens. People used to make fun of me all the time. And, like, I don’t think it’s really because people are mean or bad or whatever. I just think…I just think…I just think that people don’t think. They don’t know.”
Through I’m the A-student, it doesn’t mean I haven’t ever got bad mark, so this line was so true it made me laugh:
“Her answers are neat and deliberate, not frantically scribbled like you do when you don’t know what you’re talking about and are hoping if you scrawl enough your teacher won’t notice. (For the record, it never works.)”
But we all do that when we don’t know the answers, right?
Another VERY true line from this book haha:
“The idea of school makes me want to curl up in a ball and sleep forever.”
And now I’m moving to the Rob “part”:
“It’s weird. Before we were going out, I liked him so much, and for so long, that every time he even looked in my direction I would get this bubbling, fizzing feeling so strong it would make me dizzy. No lie: sometimes I got light-headed thinking about him and had to sit down.
But now that we’re officially a couple, I sometimes have the strangest thoughts when I look at him, like I wonder if all those fries are clogging his arteries or whether he flosses or how long it’s been since he washed the Yankees hat he wears pretty much every day. Sometimes I’m worried there’s something wrong with me. Who wouldn’t want to go out with Rob Cokran?”
Not that I’ve ever had a boyfriend, but this line was close to my heart as sometimes you like someone (who you’ve never even spoken with) without knowing who the real him or her is. Once you start talking with them, you just want to run far away and talk to them again. Then you start wondering why you’ve even liked them?
Lindsay, Ally and Elody:
I liked their friendship, through at times I didn’t appreciate the things they did
“I start laughing and I can’t stop and I’m thinking that this – my life, my friends – might be weird or screwy or imperfect or damaged or whatever, but it’s never seemed better to me.”
Once Ally said very right thing: “Isn’t is kind of weird how that stuff happens? How everything else spirals out from everything else? It’s like a web, you know? Everything is connected. I read once that if a bunch of butterflies takes off from Thailand, it can cause a rainstorm is New York.”
I liked Sam’s little sister – Izzy – although she was only 8, she was a very smart girl.
“Izzy has come to the door again, this time halfway dressed for school. She’s in a yellow-and-pink phase – not a flattering combination, but it’s kind of hard to explain color palettes to an eight-year-old – and she has pulled on mustard yellow dress over a pair of pink tights. She’s also wearing big, scrunchie yellow socks. She looks like some kind of tropical flower. A part of me is tempted to freak out at my mom for letting Izzy wear whatever she wants. The other kids must make fun of her.
Then again, I guess Izzy doesn’t care. That’s another thing that strikes me as funny: that my eight-year-old sister is braver than I am. She is probably braver than most of the people at Thomas Jefferson. I wonder if that will ever change, if it will get beaten out of her.”
“She lips all of her s’s: thinth, thomeone, jutht, athk.
-Do-do the other kids ever make fun of you? For how you talk?
I feel her stiffen underneath the layers.
-So why don’t you do something about it? You could learn to talk differently, you know. – I say
-But this is my voice.-she says it quietly but with insistence.-How would you be able to tell when I was talking?”
“I wish nobody ever died” – Izzy says.
I liked her, through in the beginning her behavior was kind of bothering, but she turned out to be a good person after all! Because deep down we all are the same. Also when she said:
“In movies you can always tell when people are supposed to be together because music swells up behind them – dumb, but true”, I wish it wasn’t only in movies!
“I’m getting really sick of this low half-light, the sky a pale and sickly blue – not even a real one blue – and the sun a wet mess on the horizon. I’m starved for a different light, a different sun, different sky. I’ve never really thought about it before, but it’s a miracle how many kinds of light are there in the world, how many skies: pale brightness of spring when it feels like the whole world is blushing; the lush, bright boldness of a July noon; purple storm skies and a green queasiness just before lightning strikes and crazy multicolored sunsets that look like someone’s acid trip. I should have enjoyed them more, should have memorized them ALL.”
This excerpt (above) really made me think that there are so many beautiful things to be happy about! We should enjoy every day of our life because:
“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, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around in it, let it slide like coin through your fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”
We never really know, so try to make THE MOST OF NOW!
The excerpt below has put a sad smile on my face, because it is so true…
“It’s weird how much people change. For example, when I was a kid I loved all these things – like horses and the Fat Feast and Goose Point – and over time all of them just fell away, one after another, replaced by friends and IMing and cell phones and boys and clothes. It’s kind of sad, if you think about it. Like there’s no continuity in people at all. Like something ruptures when you hit twelve, or thirteen, or whatever the age is when you’re no longer a kid but a “young adult”, and after that you’re a totally different person.”
Lindsay & Juliet Sykes
I was surprised by learning that they were best friends. But this situation was so REAL, and I almost cried when I read about their friendship, because this story is close to my heart. It happens at school a lot. I felt so sorry for the both of them! And Juliet, she was such a LOYAL friend!
“A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.”
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN! THIS STORY WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!!!!Keep in mind that:
“Everything can be fixed” & “So many things become beautiful when you really look” 🙂
Thank you so much for this awesome story Lauren Oliver!