Aly in Wonderland

Before I Fall

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver Before I get to the actual review, I'd like to point out that I get it. I totally get this novel.

In fact, it's actually rather refreshing, because let's be honest -- when was the last time you read a book in the point of view of a popular bitch and not the sad bullied girl?

I was bullied for practically all my school life, right up until I left and even now, at the age of 20, people bully me. Because I'm not the prettiest, funniest, slimmest, etc. It only occurred to me after school how sad and pathetic those bullies were. I mean, how unsatisfying can your life possibly be to pick on someone half your size to make yourself feel better?

So yeah, I get this novel. I really, really do.

This is what happens: Sam Kingston is a bitch. Bottom line, she's one of the big bad bullies in this particular American high school. Although she doesn't throw the first insult, start the first rumour or the first to graffitti the bathroom stalls, she goes along with it just like all her friends do.

And then one evening, she dies. Except the story doesn't end there: consequently, she gets thrown into this kind of Groundhog day thing, where she lives the day of her death over and over, and she slowly comes to the realisation that her actions -- who she was and what she did -- caused her death.

Get this : Juliet Sykes is a 'psycho', 'weirdo', an 'outcast' and the night of Sam's death, she throws herself in front of their car and dies along with Sam. Because of their incessant bullying, she decides to kill herself and, without knowing, kills Sam, the bane of her existent, as well.

You see, Sam slowly realises that she is an awful, horrid bitch and as the day(s) go by, she realises she needs to change something -- she needs to change the outcome, so she can 'move on'.

Wherever that is.

I loved this book, and Lauren Oliver is a beautiful writer. In fact, the voice of Sam and her she-witches are so loud and clear, it was like being transported back to the good old school days all over again.

Each person has an outstanding personality, and no two characters are the same. The fact that Lindsay Edgecombe (Queen Bitch) and Juliet Sykes (Psycho) used to be friends only makes the entire ordeal more interesting.

The novel isn't split into chapters, but seven days. And when the day Sam realises what, exactly, she must do to move on rolls around, there's a sense of finality throughout the whole novel. At first, I thought she was in a coma, and finally doing what was right would wake her up, but alas that was not the case, and she successfully moved on to whatever is next, I guess.

All in all, I give the book four stars. It's new, exciting, sad and so honest that it actually hurts to realise that because of who she was, what she did and who she hung out with, people would feel sorry for her death but internally think, "Bitch got what she deserved." Because no one knew she could change things. No one knew that she was really a good person inside.

So think about that. Think about all those who hurt you and ruined your life and made school a living hell. Think of the nicknames and the shouting and messages scrawled on bathroom mirrors, and the rumours. Think about that and then think about what they're doing now, and what YOU'RE doing now. Have they changed? Have YOU changed?

And just like that you'll understand this novel. This story is about cruelty and bullying and what schools are really like -- these days more than ever. It's the honest, stone cold truth.

It's a truth not many see, or many choose to ignore.

Congratulations, Lauren Oliver, for using your imagination and create something so starkly beautiful like [b:Before I Fall|6482837|Before I Fall|Lauren Oliver||6674135].

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