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"Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know." --Lauren Oliver, Before I FallWhen I first heard about this book, I kind of pushed it to the side thinking it really wasn't my kind of book. I'm so glad I finally gave it a chance though, because it was excellent in so many ways. I did not want to put it down, and I definitely didn't want it to end.
At the beginning, I was not Sam's biggest fan. I didn't like her or her friends, but I could definitely see the "popular high school girl" stereotype that Oliver was trying to portray in Sam and her friends. The girls are stuck up, mean, and don't care about anyone other than themselves. And even then, they're not even really good friends to each other.
But then, Sam dies. And she has to relive the same day seven times. And although she's angry and bitter at first, she ends up completely redeeming herself. Even though to everyone else it may seem completely out of character, Sam will always be remembered in a good way. I wasn't looking forward to Sam's last day, but the ending was absolutely satisfying. Not enjoyable, necessarily, but satisfying.
The lessons that she learns over the course of the seven days are things that I wish every high school girl learned. I would even go as far as to say that everyone can learn a little something from Sam - whether it be a reminder of how you should treat others, or what the important things in life are, or to cherish what you have. Especially in these times when bullying and teen suicide has become such a big deal; bullies and the bullied alike would benefit from taking a look through Sam's eyes. Oliver is able to present serious themes like bullying, suicide, death, friendship, sacrifice, and consequences relating to life choices without sounding preach-y or without shoving them down the readers' throats.
If you're willing to wait out the first chapter and give this book and Sam a chance, you will not be disappointed. Before I Fall made me laugh and cry, and made me think about things that most YA books don't. I really think this could be one of those timeless YA novels that can just pass from generation to generation and still manages to inspire or affect people. This book was incredible. So, if you haven't read it yet, go pick it up ASAP. I would most definitely give this book a 5/5 and recommend it to everyone I know.