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Before I Fall Paperback – 4 Mar 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340980893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340980897
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 23.3 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 529,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with her achingly beautiful first novel, BEFORE I FALL. She followed that up with DELIRIUM and then PANDEMONIUM - the first two books in her compellingly addictive trilogy. The eagerly anticipated final book in the Delirium trilogy, REQUIEM, will publish in Spring 2013.

She is also the author of two novels for young readers, LIESL & PO and THE SPINDLERS, delightful, scary and magical novels that are certain to become modern classics of children's writing. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Find more information at, or connect with Lauren on Twitter ( and on Facebook (

Product Description


'Poignant...This tale of second chances will have you clinging on to your Kleenex' --Now magazine

'Before I Fall is smart, complex, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Lauren Oliver has written an extraordinary debut novel about what it means to live - and die.' --Carolyn Mackler, author of Tangled

Book Description

As achingly beautiful as The Lovely Bones and as brave as Jenny Downham's Before I die, Lauren Oliver's heartrending debut will make you want to live every day as if it were your last

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4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Leah Graham TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
Like most teenagers, Sam Kingston believes she's going to live forever. However on a rainy February Friday night, driving home from a party, Sam and her friends Elody, Lindsay and Ally end up in a car crash. A car crash that kills Sam. Trouble is, she wakes up the next day and it's that same Friday. As Sam keeps repeating that fateful Friday, she begins to realise that although she may not be able to save herself, she may well be able to save someone. The question is, will she be able to untangle all of the mysteries surrounding her death before her week is up?

I have to say though that at first I didn't know what to make of the book. For a while it seemed as though I wasn't going to like it and, even worse, I wasn't going to like Sam. The Prologue is fantastic and the build up to the crash was suspenseful but I just couldn't warm to Sam right away. The thing is I think that we're supposed to not really like Sam at the beginning. She's popular, has a fantastic boyfriend and her life couldn't be more perfect but because she was popular she wasn't exactly very nice. Not at first, anyway. I was very quickly sucked in though and as I got to know Sam more, I began to like her more.

The plot is immensely complex yet so simplistic at the same time: Sam dies but, it seems, she hasn't really died and has the chance to re-live her last day seven times. The book is broken up into sections for each of the replayed days and although repeating the same day seven times may seem repetitive and dull, it's not. As Sam re-lives that day again and again more things come to light about what happens the night of the crash and Sam seems to realise just what is important in life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By @Scattered_Laura on 24 May 2012
Format: Paperback
I think anyone who has ever watched Groundhog Day has considered the things they may do if they had the chance to live a day over and over until they made it perfect. So it was great to see this idea in a well written YA book.

What I found particularly interesting about this book was Samantha's narrative voice, because to begin with she was a truly dislikable character. She is ignorant, self-centered, vapid and somewhat dull in her two-dimensional portrayal. It is only when she is forced to truly think about how she lives her life that she starts to take on some life. The audience begins to see a girl who really isn't that secure and who, as a result, clings to the things which make her feel a bit better about who she is.

I think everyone can relate to that, teenager or not. Or at least, anyone who has ever had low self esteem, or felt like they're faking their way through the day. We all cling to the things which make us feel a bit more secure about our lives. But what would happen if we were forced to take a step back and really think about the things we cling to? Would we realise that they are just dusty trophies? Would the people we call friends be about as deep as a puddle? And what about the people we think we love?! What would we find out about our real feelings for them?

Samantha's perspective is refreshing because in her seven days which are really just one day, she figures out a whole bunch of things that the rest of us might take years to comprehend. Lauren Oliver fleshes the character out and makes her audience begin to really care about her. I laughed when she cast discretion to the wind when she realised that there would be no consequences. I gritted my teeth when she put up with some of the people in her life.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ms. N. J. Cross on 30 May 2011
Format: Paperback
The first thing i have to say is that being in my 30s i doubt very much that i am the target audience for this book so please bear this in mind. I picked this book as i like to read books that are slightly different and after reading the back thought this would be the sort of thing i usually like, not realising at the time it was a young adult book. Unfortunately however i was very disappointed and on a couple of occasions considered giving up on the book. The problem was that i just didn't like the main characters and really couldn't care less what happened to them. I think this is probably what the author intended as the essence of the story is; really popular spoilt brat gets to see how her actions affect other people and starts turning into a nicer person. The other point i would make is that the characters are supposed to be 18. If i had not known that then i would have thought they were more 13 to 14 years of age. I have to say that the book does get better in the second half but only because of the new love interest aspect. Not a book i would read again or pass on to friends to read.
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68 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Jenny, Wondrous Reads TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
I've been trying to write this review for weeks, but have had a hard time putting my thoughts into words. I could just say that Before I Fall is amazing, fantastic, a groundbreaking debut. It's all of these things, yet so much more. You know when you read a book, and you're left speechless at the end, like you're in sensory overload? That was what happened to me when I read Before I Fall. I was a complete mess, left reeling like Sam's end had been my end, like her thoughts and feelings had been my own. It's a powerful feeling, though completely unprecedented.

Before I Fall made me wish I was a writer. It made me wish I could arrange sentences that would mean something to people, and maybe even change how they live their life. Not many books do that for me, but when they do, they cast their spell on me and stay in my head forever. Sam's story did more than that -- it made me realise that life is precious, and that every single choice we make has an effect. We might not see it, but it's there. Our decisions have the ability to alter someone's path, or someone's self perception. We have to think about what we do, how we treat others and what one wrong turn can lead to.

Sam's whole journey is filled with regrets and what ifs. Her story is tragic, yes, but it's also redeeming. How many of us wish we could relive a day, maybe do something differently, or take something back? It's a dream we'll never experience, but for Sam it's her reality, even her nightmare. She has a second chance, and she has to use it to fix the trouble she caused, and the people she hurt along the way. I didn't like Sam at first; I thought she was horrible, stuck-up, and not someone I'd ever want to know. Lauren Oliver warned me of this before I started the book, so I was prepared to hate her.
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