How is it possible, I think, to change so much and not be able to change anything at all? (Samantha Kingston, Lauren Oliver)
[Be advised, that I’ve read this book in German and not in English.]
High school is frustrating and difficult. Especially for the ones, who are not as popular as others. While you try to search your real self, you kind of get lost. Daily studying, keeping up with friends and the hobbies besides the school, can lead to a chaotic mess. The Thomas-Jefferson-High-School is no exception. Maybe, it is even a bit more difficult and worse than at normal schools.
Samantha Kingston, 17 years old and since a few years, one of the popular people. Her best friends: Lindsay, Elody, and Ally. What Sam didn’t suspect: Her most loved day in the year, the Valentines Day, should be her last day on earth. Because fate decided to not let her live February 13th anymore.
And that’s what the book is about: Lauren Oliver wrote about Sams last day. Although Sam isn’t the nicest person, and especially not the lovely girl next door, she will be a role model for all of us. If you die, they say, your life flashes before your eyes. And often, it’s the deeds you regret now, which are the center of our thoughts.
In the beginning, the book was a long haul. Since Sams last day is repeating through the entire book, the plot seemed to never come to an end. Sometimes, you were able to guess the ending of some chapters and there was never a feeling of “I have to continue reading!”. Instead, I needed a few weeks until I was able to finish this book. I never had the urge to pick up the book and finish it, on the contrary: I’ve even read other books at the same time.
After the even and a bit boring part of the book was finished, I could finally see some changing, which made the following chapters even more beautiful. To be honest, at this point, I was curious all the time. I wanted to read more and more, so that I finished half of the book in just two days, whereas I needed multiple weeks for the first half.
In the beginning, Samantha was a very irritating person. She was mean, cynical in her own way, but shy and reserved at the same time. I hated it that she let others dominate her and I nearly became furious about this trait of her. To be honest, she was very, very despicable. Lauren Oliver made a good job with that. It was fascinating to watch Samantha growing older in just a few days, and putting down all of her bad traits. She really developed from being a B*tch to a selfless young woman. She managed to touch my heart and encourage me to think about some topics which took place in the book.
The message behind this book is phenomenal. All of your deeds turn around and come back to you. Even those, of which you thought, were already forgotten. After your death, there is only one thing, which will last: Whether you enlarged the mankind or not. Afterward, neither does the number of your friends nor does your rank order, have an importance. People will forget about you, with the generations passing. Only those, who were good humans and made good deeds, will remain in the hearts and minds of the people.
Rating: ★★★★✰ [4/5]
Laughters, grins, and teardrops. I felt every possible emotion while reading this book. I was able to understand Sam, feel her frustration, her joy and determination. Nevertheless, I have to say that the beginning was nearly a torture. There were chapters, I just wanted to skip. But to be fair: The ending almost managed to balance out the beginning. The book convinced me and really does deserve the four stars. Lauren Olivers Before I fall animates you to think about all of your behaviors and deeds. It advises you to think about the harm and damage, your words can behavior can cause. Often, we do not realize that the others are also living humans, having the same emotions as we have.