YA Book: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver


On Friday, February 12th Allie, a high school student,  came bursting into my prep time to announce, “Today is the day that Samantha Kingston lived over and over.” She wanted to know if I had read “the book,” and finding that I had not, insisted that I log onto Amazon and buy it immediately.  Her copy, she added, was “lent out.” Let’s face it -- on a normal day I am trying to convince the students to read, so when an enthusiastic recommendation comes from them I want to know what all the hubbub is about. Now I know...

“Before I Fall” was written by Lauren Oliver. It’s a YA book -- one that I would save for my high school students. A few themes in the book are inappropriate for my middle school crowd. That said I would recommend it for a book club or choice book.

The premise is that Samantha, a popular high school girl, keeps living the same day over and over until she gets it right. Oliver does a great job developing Samantha’s voice and by the end of the book I was emotionally wrapped up in her story.

On Oliver’s website there is a discussion guide and a book trailer...

Additionally, it might be fun to compare each of her re-do days to the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day.” I have not done this, but I wonder how Phil’s (Bill Murry) attempts to get it right compare to Samantha’s. Even more exciting, the movie version is supposed to come out this year. According to the internet it is in development and will star Zoey Deutch.