Book review: “Before I fall” by Lauren Oliver


Last week, I began reading this book. The daughter of our family friend gave it to me, because I showed interest in the book after she told me about it. When we visited them last week (post is coming), she remembered and gave it to me so that I could read it. I began reading it immediately, and I couldn’t stop anymore. After The Time Machine, this was a bit more refreshing. I noticed that I am still a fast reader when it comes to new books/bestsellers. And I also read it in German, which can also be a reason that I read it quite fast. The german cover looks like this:


“Wenn du stirbst zieht dein ganzes Leben an dir vorbei, sagen sie”. A long title, right? But quite an interesting one. It is definitely not the exact translation of “Before I fall”. If you would translate the german title exactly into english, it would be something like: “When you die, your whole life passes you by, they say” (wow, there is even a rhyme :’D). I think the meaning in “Before I fall” should refer to that sentence. That’s how they translated it. Although it is not the exact translation, I somehow like it. I think a lot of buyers were interested by this mysterious title. I was also wondering what it was all about. So I read it. And I can tell you that it is damn good.

I would say that this novel belongs to the category of YA novels. In the last few years, I kind of neglected this category, athough it has a lot of good novels. I just didn’t have time to read these kinds of novels anymore, because of uni stuff. I was also on a classics trip, so I always bought and read classics. Now, I also try to fit in some YA and new bestseller novels.

I liked this novel, because it shows the life of many different teenagers. Because there are so many different characters, it was very interesting for me to read. I love books with a lot of characters, and character description and development is important for me in order to like a book. And this one had a lot of development. Although I missed some further appearance descriptions of characters like Elody or Ally, or even Samantha, I was quite content with the descriptions appearing one after another.

The plot of the novel was quite interesting. At first, I thought that she could actually rescue herself, but when she woke up the same day over and over again, I have given up hope, until she found out about the connection to Juliet. From those last few pages on I just couldn’t wait to find out what would happen.

I think the message this book conveys is quite clear: Karma. You get what you give. Samantha, the naive, passive girl who admires her friend Lindsay, has to be punished for bullying the outsider of the school, Juliet.

I like how Lauren Oliver manages to criticizes bullying at school by connectin it to life and death. I also like that Samantha doesn’t decide to abandon her friends, especially Lindsay. The author successfully praises bonds of friendship, no matter how sick your friends are, or how bad their past is.

I somehow could connect quite good to Samantha. I wasn’t a popular girl at school in the past. Actually, never was popular. I was never bullyied though. Most people liked me I think, but not in the way that I was the coolest girl at school. In university, things like these were not important. When I began to study, everything had changed, even my friend group. Almost every weekend, we went to another party. A friend of mine always organized the pre-gaming at her place. She could have been like Lindsay, or even Ally :’D Another thing that reminded me of my past was Kent. I think he would have been my type: curly hair, green eyes, and tan skin. There was actually a guy I was in love with during the years of my A’levels. He also had curly hair and a tan skin, and he seemed to be quite creative and chaotic :’D Unfortunately, it has never worked out as well as it did with Samantha and Kent.

Well, back to the novel. I would recommend it to everyone who want to have a light, yet exciting and interesting read. However, I don’t know if I like the ending or not. I am somehow somewhere in-between.

Final rating – 8/10: A good writing style, interesting character constellations, mysterious plot. What else can a reader want? Two points off because some characters were not described as well. But all in all, a book that is worth the read.


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