Book Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Contemporary
Blurb from Goodreads
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is … until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realises that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.
Before I Fall is now a major motion picture starring Zoey Deutch.
I read Before I Fall for the first time in 2013 and I genuinely wonder if I ever actually finished it as I couldn’t remember one single thing about it.
But then there was all this talk about the book because it was turned into a film and I had a friend who wanted to read it… so I decided to buddy read it with her.
And what struck me as utterly hilarious while rereading the novel was thinking about how repetitive the storyline was (as this is about a girl who basically has a paranormal case of déjà vu) but I still managed to forget that endlessly repeating storyline! Honestly ridiculous how could I forget the same dull plot line repeated ad nauseam but I guess my brain was trying to blank out this utter bore fest!
This book was D.U.L.L.!
There was a cast of misunderstood mean girls, dumb jocks, loner types, a good girl gone bad, a cute nerdy boy, an adorable baby sister, parents held at arm’s length…
Think of any predictable teen high school film (especially anything from the 2000s) and you’ve got that same cast of characters right here.
It was predictable.
The writing was insipid, especially that first long-assed chapter. I swear I wanted to tear out my hair while reading it; never before have I read such a boring, overly drawn out setup!!!
And as I alluded to earlier the characters were essentially pastiches of every other teen drama you’ve read or watched with not a single authentic feeling character among the cast. Two-dimensional people everywhere!
The premise of the storyline has its appeal though. Once you can make it through that tediously long first chapter the plot begins to move along at a much better pace making it a super easy read… but even that isn’t enough to rescue this book. It’s too much like everything else I’ve ever read in this genre. There was nothing fresh or invigorating about either the writing style or the characters. Just tired, worn-out tropes everywhere.
There is a somewhat nice character arc with the MC but honestly, as it was signposted so clearly it’s barely noticeable amid the quagmire of banalities that are the plot devices used in the storyline.
As instantly forgettable the second time around as it was the first! (And when I did try to watch the film later I couldn’t even make it past the first ten minutes!!)
A hard pass.