Before I fall by Lauren Oliver- 3.75 stars
Samantha and her girlfriends are malicious and mean. She may not instigate all the horrible things her friends do and say but she tags along and never stops them.
The book is basically a story of re-rewriting wrongs. Samantha has, after her death, six days to change things, to change a few lives.
As Samantha relives that day, and messes it all up again and again, we slowly get a better understanding of how she became that way. We also learn more about her friends and a few other secondary characters. We learn how one or two events in someone's past can forever change someone's life.
I love all that! I think the arching story in Before I fall is great. It makes you think more about life, about your everyday actions, about those around you, and finally, about death!
It teaches you to appreciate the small things in life.
The problem is the book is repetitive. Reliving seven days gets tiring on the reader. I skimmed read large chucks of the book.
Another thing that annoyed me tremendously is how horrible, mean and bitchy the characters are. Now, I get that they are meant to be that way. I get the girls are meant to be spoiled brats. But it was just way too much. I feel like there was more of that than actual story building. After two days I knew exactly how horrible the girls were, there was no need to read again and again the same horrible lines. The author could have concentrated on Kent a little more. Or on the other girls past, she really only expands on Lindsay. She doesn't even expand much on Sam's own background, there are a few mentions here and there, glimpses, but never enough. I am not saying that background info on the characters is/was necessary, I am simply pointing out I would rather prefer that than the continuous tiring bitchiness between the characters. As I said, I got it by the two that they weren't very nice.
The last problem with the book, and the biggest one for me, is the ending.
Sam had to learn to sacrifice herself for the sake of others. Problem is, she IS ALREADY DEAD! So what's the point? Why does she has to do that for the cycle to stop? There is no explanation for the abrupt ending. She dies again, like she did all the other 6 days and that's that. I think there are pages missing at the end of my book.... 😕😕
Conclusion: Before I fall has a great premise. The though behind most of the book is great and I would highly recommend that you read it. I also dare you not to fall in love with Kent's character!
But, sadly, be also prepared to get annoyed at the characters and to feel a tad bored from time to time because of its repetitiveness.