“It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It’s never occurred to me before; I’ve never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different.”
To be honest, I didn’t actually think I’d like this book. The plot sounded too predictable (having to do one day over and over again until you get it right) and reading the first chapter made me hate the main character. Sam Kingston, popular, pretty, has the boyfriend everyone wants, wakes up on ‘Cupid Day’ a day when everyone in the school is sent roses and whoever gets the most roses is considered the most popular. She and her clique go through they day as usual, being horrible to those less popular than them, joking about Sam losing her virginity and then going to a party thrown by a Kent, a childhood friend that Sam used to be close with but now ignores. The first time Sam goes through this day she is selfish and mean, not realizing how her actions (and the actions of her best friends) affect those around her.
That night, she dies.
And then she wakes up to the same day, all over again. At first when she realizes this, she becomes even more reckless and heartless. But when she dies again and small things change because of her choices, she begins to change too. She starts to see that even the smallest, harmless seeming choices can have consequences.
Its a fast paced story, especially after the first chapter which felt a bit slow to me (mostly because I wanted to smack Sam and her friends for being such mindless jerks.) After that, the story captured me and kept me until the end. I did become emotionally invested in Sam’s life. I was rooting for her to turn her life around and change her ending.
What I liked most was that this book isn’t really about happy endings or her ending up with the guy she should have been with all along (although we all do like to see the nice guys get noticed.) Its about Sam, a typical teenager, learning to make better choices and learning to be brave enough to be kind.
‘Before I fall’ ends leaving you feeling that you just witnessed something sad, beautiful and not to be missed.