Is Sam Kingston the New Bill Murray?

This week’s YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday asks:  What was the best book you read in November?

This was so easy.  BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver.

BEFORE I FALL is sort of a Groundhog Day for the new generation, and I adored it.  I know I’m not the first (and won’t be the last) to praise Oliver on her writing abilities–but this story had me pretty captivated.  Sam dies in a car wreck and she is stuck repeating the last day of her life.  I loved how, even though Sam was going through similar things each day, no two days were the same.  Each day shed new light on the characters, the plot, and by the end, everything comes together in a pretty satisfying way.

If I’m being honest, the ending sort of annoyed me.  Like I said above, it was satisfying, but I just didn’t like it.  Well, that’s not the right phrasing either.  I did like it.  I just didn’t… like it.  There’s no other way to explain my feelings about it without spoiling things, so you’ll just have to accept that I am being ridiculously contradictory.

Have you read BEFORE I FALL?  How’d you feel about it?  What was your favorite read in November?

Share My Wisdom:


  1. Colin Smith says:

    OK, so I guess I’m going to have to put this on my TBR list even if just to see if I like-but-don’t-like the ending like you liked-but-didn’t-like the ending. 🙂 Actually, I’ve considered this book a few times before based on numerous recommendations.

  2. kate scott says:

    I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t love Before I Fall, for the same reason I didn’t love Goundhog Day. I’m not a big fan of stories on repeat. That being said, I LOVED Dillierium! And while I haven’t read it yet, I’m intreaged by Liesle and Po, so I feel safe calling myself a Lauren Oliver fangirl anyway.

    • Crystal says:

      Groundhog Day was a little more annoying to me than BEFORE I FALL. I don’t know why, exactly. But DELIRIUM is definitely on my TBR list as well 🙂

  3. Heather says:

    I loved this book! It was interesting to see the way Oliver dealt with the same day, and how Sam’s view of that day and her surroundings changed as she grew as a character.

  4. Rebecca B says:

    I loved this book, and I admire how it made me care about Sam–a character whom I really hated at the start.
    Love that you called her the new Bill Murray. Groundhog Day FTW!

  5. stephanie says:

    I haven’t read it either, but your description of the ending is intriguing. It sounds interesting and i like the groundhog day scenario! And I love Bill Murray. 🙂

  6. Jaime says:

    You’re the second person to mention BEFORE I FALL as a favourite November read. It’s one I’ve been wanting to read, but now I’ll have to make sure it climbs my TBR list 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      If you read it, come back and let me know what you thought of the ending! I’m dying to know if other readers felt as conflicted as I did.

  7. Angelica R. Jackson says:

    I ended up skimming a lot of this book, was kind of bored with the repeating. And she’s not much of a likeable character in the beginning. But there were definitely parts that were well-written and worth the read.

    • Crystal says:

      Really?? That surprises me. I didn’t feel like it was that repetitive, but I guess everybody has a different level of tolerance for various things. And I agree that Sam wasn’t likable at first… But I thing one of the biggest strengths of this story was Sam’s evolution. I was really rooting for her at the end.

  8. Kris Atkins says:

    I haven’t read BEFORE I FALL. Sounds interesting, and of course, I’ve heard lots of praise for it. My favorite book this month was DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor, although I also read and loved THE HOURS by Michael Cunningham (not ya). Laini Taylor is an amazing writer. Like, the kind that makes me want to give up because if people this good are the ones getting published, then I have no hope! (Of course, I can’t let myself think like that!)

    • Crystal says:

      Haha, maybe I shouldn’t read that one, then. After I read JELLICOE ROAD I felt the same way. Like, do I even know how to write at all???

  9. Tarah Dunn says:

    Wow, the concept is really interesting. I’m already projecting that the only two ways to end the book would be to have her live or die. Not sure either would be satisfying–The Lovely Bones killed me because despite it all, she was always still going to be dead. Anyway, I will plan to check this one out.

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