Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver Book Review

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is a stunning story of redemption at a cost, where Samantha Kingston must live the last day of her life over and over again, Groundhog’s Day style, until she gets the sequence right. Before I Fall is one of those books I use to convert people to YA. I loaned my copy to my sister who said she “fucking loved it” and then she loaned it to all her friends. Before I Fall definitely made it’s rounds. It’s been over a year since I read Lauren Oliver’s debut, but it still lingers in my memory.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver | Good Books & Good Wine | #YA #youngadult #contemporary #groundhogsday

Sam Kingston is a member of the Regina George clique in her school. Her friends are literally at the top of the social ladder and there is no sugar coating from Oliver. These girls are real. I went to high school with them and simultaneously hated them and wanted to be them. Maybe you did too.

As someone who was a teen not too long ago, I can say Lauren Oliver is pitch perfect in voice and authenticity. The girls are bitchy. Yet, they also care for each other and their families. They are neither drawn as perfect heroines nor as one dimensional bullies. The dialogue never feels hokey or like an adult trying to be with it and hip. What comes out of Lindsey, Elodie, and Sam’s mouth sounds like what I would hear in the hallways of a high school in Anywhere, USA.

The plot is absolutely compelling. Will Sam get it right on her last day? Will she end up with Kent of the weird hats? Every action and scenario has consequences as soon in Before I Fall. Lauren Oliver’s  debut is heart breaking and impossible to set down. I can only hope that Oliver returns to contemporary young adult literature, because although I loved her dystopia, Delirium, I think that her contemporary voice is heart-piercing.

Disclosure: Purchased copy.

This book reviewed as part of Just Contemporary Month sponsored by Chick Loves Lit and Books From Bleh To Basically Amazing.

Other Reviews of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver:

Steph Su Reads
I Eat Words
Rhapsody In Books 

Purchase Before I Fall here. Link takes you to amazon where I’m an associate and make a paltry amount of commission based on if you buy things there after clicking the link. Please be awesome and do so.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’ve seen so much Lauren Oliver, I want to devote a large amount of time to reading all of her books.

  2. I’ve heard sooo many people talk about her debut, and yet… I haven’t read it :O I loved Delirium, despite the heartwrenching ending, but I’d love to give this contemporary first novel of hers a go before Pandemonium comes out. 🙂

    – Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  3. dude, ive never read lauren oliver, and i’m wholly ashamed. it’s just that my library hasn’t gotten delirium yet. they do have this one, though. maybe i should just check this bad boy out and start with it. contemps aren’t my favorite, though, i won’t lie. but you kinda sell it like a beast. also, i like the word “compelling.”

    i just put it on hold at my library. darn you and what you do to my tbr.

  4. Oooooh, I really liked this one. I was surprised too. Not because I wouldn’t like a Groundhogs Day scenario (I mean CLEARLY) but because I didn’t see myself connecting with a “mean girl” at first. Good times.

  5. I was afraid that this one would be a little too repetitive but I was pleasantly surprised. I agree that it was a very compelling book!

  6. Yes! I totally agree! This book is amazing and I loved it and I really want to reread it because it’s just that much awesome! I read it just after it came out but I still remember how much I loved this book. Sigh. So good!

  7. I agree with you. Oliver absolutely made it to my favorite authors list because of this book! Love love love Before I Fall. Her other novels are also amazing!-Delirium and Pandemonium. Well Pandemonium is better than the first novel in the trilogy, but either way, I’m waiting for the final installment. Requiem please come sooner!

  8. just finished reading this book, i love your review 🙂


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