Before I Fall - by Sam Kingston
Before I Fall

"desperately searching for an answer is tiring and unforgettable."


Have you ever experienced deja vu? That feeling that a certain situation has already occurred before. Not like Sam Kingston has, she relives the same day seven times in Lauren Oliver's novel, Before I Fall. Oliver is a fantastic young adult author. She includes all the gory details in her work - good and bad. She really digs deep into the emotions of any teenage girl. At times I could not decide if I liked the book, but every time I set it down, I would pick it back up and read for hours. It's one of those books that you can get lost in.

In Oliver's novel, Sam Kingston is the it girl. Everybody wants to be friends with her, but when she makes one wrong move her whole world comes crashing down, literally. She is the popular girl, she has the hottest boyfriend, most friends, and invited to every party. This year's cupid day doesn't go as planned and gets a little out of control, when she attends her childhood best friend's house party. She and her friends drink too much and think they can drive, but it's icy and raining and their on a narrow winding road. Then suddenly boom something runs out in the road and they swerve violently into the tree. Unfortunately, Sam is in the front passenger seat, the spot that came in impact with the tree. Although she didn't survive the crash, she has the ability to relive that day seven times.

In those seven days, Sam goes through many trials and tribulations. She's never felt so alone before. Can you imagine knowing that you're going to die at the end of the day for seven days? What would you change? Through these trials and tribulations Sam finds out the truth of many important events. She realizes that she's not the only person affected by their accident. A girl named Juliet dies as well; is it suicide or just coincidence? Sam must find out the truth and just maybe she'll be able to save Juliet's life.

Sam tries to explain her thought process, "You see, I was still looking for answers then. I still wanted to know why. As though somebody was going to answer that for me, as though any answer would be satisfying." This quote really stuck out to me, that feeling of not knowing and desperately searching for an answer is tiring and unforgettable. She discovers that the meaning of life is not to have the most friends and going drinking but to have friends and family that love you for who you are.

What will become of Sam Kingston's life? Will she be remembered for good reasons or for her rude behavior? "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 coins 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."

    Sarah Ann I.