This is a 4.5 rating I think. So, at first I was so annoyed with the main character that I was okay with her just dying if it meant that the book was over already – and then, about two thirds of the way through the book, that changed. It was the people around her that ultimately made me like Sam and I forgive her for taking so many tries before getting it right. We could all use those once in a while.
Ultimately, this was a really good look from the other side of bullying. Sometimes we forget that bullies or mean girls or whoever are just people, too, and if they can ever just figure that out, then maybe they can become *good* people, too. I liked that this was one of those where doing nothing is like being responsible anyway and you are who you hang out with. I liked that she had to figure out that she wasn’t perfect and that was okay and that the things she thought made people perfect were all backwards. The writing was good, easy to read, but embellished. She did a good job of explaining some difficult, vague, existential ideas in a way that wasn’t overwhelming. I loved how there was this thread that wove through everyone’s lives that Sam just kept tugging at, trying to make it better, but usually just making it worse. That everything’s connected. And what was great was how we got to see this. It was very Ground Hog Day and it was fun, even if it was also very sad. I would recommend this book, but be aware that you aren’t going to like the main characters right off the bat. Gotta take the good with the bad!
Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Approximate Length: 262 pages
I have a used softcover version.