Before I Fall

Before I Fall

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
After she dies in a car crash, teenaged Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.
Publisher: New York Harper, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2010.
ISBN: 9780062656322
Characteristics: 470 pages, 9 pages ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Before I fall (Motion picture)


From Library Staff

Movie: 2017

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 04, 2017

A beautiful story that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. A good read for when you have a lot of time- it's hard to put down! The characters are realistic, but a bit repetitive.

Lease6470 Apr 17, 2017

A little to repetitive, but overall a good book.

Feb 13, 2017

Is this the best YA novel I've ever read? No - but it's not the worst, either. It's a quick read that will have you turning the pages and keep you hooked on how it will end. I would extrapolate on my disappointment in the ending; but that would likely spoil too much. I have always found Oliver's writing to be a bit sophomoric, but she does write characters with realistic flaws, which I appreciate. The book could have used some editing, I ended up skimming through chapters that became repetitive and fatiguing.

Jan 27, 2017

It is difficult to explain why I am giving this book four stars without using any spoilers. It was interesting to read this book shortly after reading "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson which also has a parallel life theme.

This book is a great reminder of how our past affects our present and how our decisions in the present affect not just our future, but also that of others around us. In the beginning of the book the girls have a discussion about what one movie called "the butterfly effect". How an action in a particular place and time can have a ripple effect. If you go back and change that action, many more circumstances are affected than just the one in front of you at the time.

Readers who enjoyed "The Fault In Our Stars" will like this book. We get to know Sam Kingston very well as we watch her deal with each time she repeats Friday, February 12. It is a bit like the movie "Groundhog Day" as she retains the knowledge from previous repeats. Because she chooses to live each day differently we find out more about her friends, classmates and families.

Aug 27, 2016

Samantha Kingston is one of the most popular girls at school along with her group of friends. She is your stereotypical self-absorbed "mean-girl"; makes fun of other people, has the "perfect" boyfriend, etc. Despite all that, she also has her own concerns. One day, Samantha gets into a car crash with her friends on Cupid's Day and amazingly gets a chance to relive the day (February 12th) 7 more times. Each time, she finds out that she cares more and more about people she didn't even like before, realizes the fault behind her disastrous end, and learn how her actions have affected people around her. When she really takes a thought/look at herself and her friends, Samantha realizes that they are so wrong and although beautiful outside, are ugly inside. As Samantha approaches her last day, she realizes that she has to make things right with all the people that actually cared about her. Throughout this book, I fell in love with the way Samantha develops. At first, she was a bystander, but then she realizes that she isn't the only important person on this planet and that she isn't that much better than anyone else. Samantha tries really hard to correct her mistakes although it was very difficult for her. This book is a deep look at bullying as a teenager, how thoughtless actions can have a massive negative impact on the victim, and at the same time, offer the view of the person who is doing the bullying.
- @Sller123 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

The book is filled with so much regret, teen fiction issues, immorality, and decision making that it just all comes together so nicely! The protagonist wakes up one day, only to relive the day before when she should have died. Well, this pattern just keeps continuing on and on. Each time, a little thing changes; this girl just wants a bit of peace and gets close to losing herself. This would be a great book to recommend to someone who needs some inspiration from hard times and decision making, and some teen fiction. It is actually kind of neat how everything fits together in your life if you become more aware of your community members and surroundings. 4/5 Stars
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Jul 16, 2016

Before I Die was a very interesting book to read. The plot and the message were excellent and I would've gave this book a higher rating had the writing style been different. I had to reread many paragraphs two or three times to understand the metaphor or the description of a place or person. I read Panic by Lauren Oliver and I had no problem getting through that book, but for some reason my reading experience with Before I Die was very choppy because of the amount of rereading I had to do.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. Not great. Character development is a great component of a book in my opinion and though Sam did change quite a bit throughout the novel, I think she could've had a larger development.

Jun 27, 2016

this book wasn't one of my all time favorite books but it was an okay book. If you read this you have to have lots of patience because this book is sort of slow and can bore you out at times. the idea of the story got my attention but it's how the author put it out that made me sort of iffy on reading it. i dont like talking bad about book so i'm just going to say that this book wasn't bad but nor was it one of the best.

Mar 04, 2016

Omg, this is by far one of the longest books i've read! Definitely interesting enough especially for young adults or teens! Beautiful book!

Jan 15, 2016

This book was supposed to be moving and profound and show a mean girl changing her ways. It took her a very long time, which I suppose is more realistic, but I found it hard to sympathize with such a bitch for so many pages. She doesn't know what is happening to her, doesn't know how many chances she has, and even though she knows some of the things that are going to happen, having already lived this day, she keeps failing to change one of the most important things. I guess I just don't understand the way bullies think. I don't understand people who hang out with bullies. I don't feel bad for bullies. I don't really care about their stories. (Note: there is probably a book out there that can make me care about/sympathize with a bully. I just need to find it.)


What bothered me most about this book was the way it ended. All throughout the book, much of the focus was on a girl, named Jules, that Sam and her friends bullied. At the end of each day, she commits suicide. Sam doesn't do anything about this for the longest time. But near the end, we find out that Jules' method of suicide is jumping in front of a car -- specifically the car that Sam's bully friends are driving. And on Sam's last day, she throws herself in front of this car, thus pushing Jules out the way and saving her life. This may seem noble at first, but if you think about it, Jules would probably suffer more as a result of this specific action. There could have been another way to save her life. Now, people could blame Jules for Sam's death. Sam's friends would probably keep bullying Jules. The rest of the high school probably would not take kindly to a "freak" who was saved by a popular girl at the expense of her life. Jules could be saddled with horrible guilt for the rest of her life over what happened with Sam. Jules didn't need to be pushed out of the way. She needed kindness and help. Sam didn't really give that to her when she could have. She just made a one-time move at the end that would turn her into a hero. And thus, of course, it is all about her again, just like it always has been.

What I did enjoy was Sam's tentative relationship with Kent, which made sense, as well as the change in the way she treated her little sister; I feel like we don't get to see sibling relationships of that nature very much in YA. One part of the book that really stood out to me was near the beginning when Sam was about to die, and she had a flashback. She thought of a friend of hers and her friends that they used to bully. She remembers one bully moment, even though the girls had all since become friends. This shows that Sam does, in fact, have a conscience, and that she realizes how significant seemingly small moments like that can be. I wish the whole book was more like that, more like I originally thought it would be.

Aug 08, 2015

A beautifully written book, I loved it. In the end, Samantha learns several lessons - one of the main ones is to never judge someone with only her friend's opinions. This book got a little bit repetitive the more I read, but it still had a good sense of humour and drama.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Jul 21, 2015

“A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.”

May 23, 2015

"'Are you ever afraid to go to sleep? Afraid of what comes next?'
He smiles a sad little smile and I swear it's like he knows. 'Sometimes I'm afraid of what I'm leaving behind.'"

May 23, 2015

"So many things become beautiful when you really look."

May 23, 2015

"It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It's never occurred to me before: I've never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of those different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different."

May 23, 2015

"I suppose that's the secret, if you're ever wishing for things to go back to the way they were. You just have to look up."

May 23, 2015

"She said that the reason you can never go home again- we were studying a list of famous quotes and discussing their meaning, and that was one of them, by Thomas Wolfe, "You can't go home again"-isn't necessarily that places change, but that people do. So nothing ever looks the same."

May 23, 2015

"Things change after you die, though- I guess because dying is about the loneliest thing you can do."

May 23, 2015

"Here's one of the things I learned that morning: if you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning. It's like that old riddle about a tree falling in a forest, and whether it makes a sound if there's no one around to hear it.
You keep drawing a line farther and farther away, crossing it every time. That's how people end up stepping off the edge of the earth. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to bust out of orbit, to spin out to a place where no one can touch you. To love yourself-to get lost."

May 23, 2015

"As I head up from the gym it strikes me how strange people are. You can see them every day-you can think you know them- and then you find out you hardly know them at all."

May 23, 2015

"Here's another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you're dead, it's the only thing that keeps you alive."

View All Quotes


Add Age Suitability

Jul 09, 2017

blue_tiger_5319 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Mar 30, 2015

violet_panda_971 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Sep 25, 2013

kay_0316 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 22, 2013

green_elephant_859 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Shelbs123 Jul 07, 2013

Shelbs123 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Red_Dog_2036 Jul 05, 2013

Red_Dog_2036 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Dec 06, 2012

CeejayQ thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

bookgeek101 Dec 05, 2012

bookgeek101 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 23, 2012

Orange_Ape_3 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Orange_Cat_155 Aug 19, 2012

Orange_Cat_155 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

View All Ages


Add Notices

May 18, 2014

Sexual Content: TONS.

Shelbs123 Jul 07, 2013

Coarse Language: The curse words but the words that almost every 11-13 year old person knows

Red_Dog_2036 Jul 05, 2013

Coarse Language: There a lot of curse words in this book.

Red_Dog_2036 Jul 05, 2013

Sexual Content: The main character and her friends talk about losing virginity and make sexual jokes, a lot.

bookgeek101 Dec 08, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: The ending can be very intense for some. One characters fate is very sad and can make people upset.

bookgeek101 Dec 08, 2012

Coarse Language: The characters swear very much in this book and Sam thinks it very much, too.

bookgeek101 Dec 08, 2012

Sexual Content: Sam wants to lose her virginity and have many innuendos.

Aug 14, 2012

Coarse Language: Swearing, innuendos

Aug 14, 2012

Sexual Content: innuendos, losing virginity is part of storyline

OliviaSh May 07, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

View All Notices


Add a Summary

Jul 16, 2016

Samantha Kingston's one of four queen bees at her high school. She's pretty, has a hot boyfriend and doesn't associate with the lower class students. Until one night, she dies. Sam wakes up the next day only to relive the same day over and over again, each day bringing different experiences and ending with an unfortunate event. Sam has to find a way to end the repetitive loop but in doing so, she opens up new friendships, new boys and a new perspective on life.

After years of being the "weird kid" Samantha Kingston is finally one of the popular kids. Life is going really good for her, as she has good looks and a boyfriend everyone is jealous of. Then one day, life changes. Well, more like ends. But she still wakes up the next day, living the same day over again for a week. In this fast-paced, thrilling book, Samantha goes through many adventures to find out who she really is.

Feb 07, 2015

Sam Kingston is the most popular girl at her high school. On cupid day she wakes up and goes to school like every other day of her life. Then, that evening, she and her friends go to a party, and on the way back get in a accident where Sam is killed. But the next day, she wakes up and it's cupid day again. This happens 7 times and Sam begins to realize that she can make a change. Do the riskier thing. Because she knows that tomorrow, she gets a chance to do everything over again.

Shelbs123 Jul 07, 2013

On page 1 of the novel, we learn that the protagonist, 17-year-old Samantha "Sam" Kingston, is killed in a car accident in her hometown of Ridgeview, Connecticut. (This is also mentioned on the back of the book.) She vividly describes her horrifying and painful death, and what flashes through her mind in those final seconds. However, she wakes up the following morning in bed, heart pounding and bathed in sweat, with the memory of her demise still fresh in her mind. Gradually, she realizes that for some reason, she is fated to relive the last day of her life, February 12, over and over, until she gets things right. Throughout the week, Samantha, who seemingly had it all - popularity, an oft-desired boyfriend, and surface-level happiness - must examine what's really important in her "Mean Girls" life, in which she and her snobby, wealthy friends - Lindsay (the ringleader), Ally and Elody - made life miserable for underclassmen and social misfits, a life in which all that seems to matter is social status, clothes, boys, drinking and sex. Furthermore, through this "Groundhog Day" phenomenon, Sam experiences all five stages of grief; denial (this can't be happening) is seen as she tries to evade her fate; she gets angry and rebells, lashing out at her friends (particularly Lindsay) and hanging out with students she would never dare be seen speaking with; she bargains with God, or fate, believing that if she can make things right, she can save her own life; depression, in which she feels that nothing even matters and wherein she begins acting uncharacteristically recklessly (stealing her mother's credit card, making a pass at a teacher, flashing a carful of college boys, etc.); and finally, acceptance. The Sam who accepts her death - but only if she's able to save the life of her friends' prime target - is a very different character from the girl on the first page of the book.

Apr 28, 2011

We get to know Sam and her friends at the beginning of the story, leading up to a crash that takes Sam's life. You have to be patient as you are introduced to them because they are not likeable at all. Just when you think you've had enough of them, they are in a deadly crash. That's not the end of the story, though, only the beginning.

Sam goes into a sort of sleep following the accident and awakens to relive her last day. Will changing something along the way lead to a different result? She tries, and tries again, and again. In fact she gets numerous attempts to "perfect" her last day, hoping she can make the most of her life...and her death if she can't undo the accident.

The story line is addicting and suspenseful. and as each "day" passes and Sam begins to get things right, the question that has been looming in the back of your mind since the end of the first chapter--What will happen to Sam?--becomes more and more urgent.

My main issue is that the bullying was not... `properly' addressed throughout the book. It's mentioned and there are little things that happen that sort of mock Lindsay and her crew, but there is no overall sense of punishment, and I hate that. Especially for people who are so out and out horrible. I wish that as a final stand Sam had stood up to them a little more strongly and kind of put them in their place other than her random remarks here and there. I also wish there could have been some more time between Sam and Kent, more for him then for her to remember.

Oliver is skillful at wielding suspense and heartbreak, making you think hard about the value of your own life and actions.

Before I Fall is a haunting and beautiful book. It will float around at the back of your mind long after you've read it.

Nov 07, 2010

The back:
What if..
What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High-- from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, Febuary 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance.

Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death-- and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

KCLibrary owns a similar edition of this title.

View originally-listed edition

Report edition-matching error

To Top