I’ll admit that it seemed a little weird at first – the main character wasn’t a social outcast or anything, like some similar books I’ve read, and while romance was a factor as the story progressed, it wasn’t the focus of the plot, like, say If I Stay and its sequel, Where She Went. It’s also not focused around grief for someone else, likeHold Still.Instead, Sam (the main character) is popular, get away with everything, has a popular boyfriend, all that fun stuff that everyone’s always wanting. She has everything she wants, everything she needs. Or so she thinks, until she dies.
Before I Fall is told in a combination of first-person present POV and a more reflective first-person past POV, a high school girl living her life and a ghost looking back on what happened. The cast of incredibly realistic characters are developed naturally throughout the story, as Lauren Oliver takes the reader on a ride through Samantha Kingston’s last day one Earth – seven different times. Each day is different, yet the same. Each day shows something new about the characters, about the situation, about life in general.
I loved that the reader gets to see the best and worst of the characters – and everything in between. For Lindsey, Elody, Ally, Kent, Rob, Juliet, the whole cast…it’s just another day. They all do what they would usually do. It’s just Sam who changes, Sam who really grows beyond her more cruel and shallow tendancies and a popular high school girl, and Sam gets the dubious honor of seven last days – seven different ways to spend your last day, seven different ways to die, seven different ways to live.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, it was a make-you-think book. It makes you think about how you treat people, about whether or not you’re doing the right thing. Whether thinking about that changes how you act is up to you.