Lauren Oliver – Before I Fall Audiobook
I have mixed feelings towards this novel. There are some things that I liked a lot and some not at all. Still, I still have a positive feeling for Before I Fall, as if the negatives have ultimately been swept aside to make way for the author’s post.
Before I fall has this original side which intrigued me. the subject, of course, but also the way in which the author was going to treat it all tickled me. Because, it must be said, create a novel whose theme is based on reliving the same day several times … it’s double or nothing. on that side, hats off. I really had the impression that I didn’t have this déjà vu effect even though certain elements came up. There is an evolution, tiny changes that produce effects that we never suspected. In the end, I would even say that there were so many possibilities on this day of February 14 that it is giddy.
The second essential point of Before I Fall is death. Nor is it an easy subject to tackle. the French title, moreover, bothers me a little in the sense that it is too “transparent” compared to the story. English, on the contrary, is more subtle and more representative of the work as a whole. But let’s move on. Sam, our heroine, is forced to relive her last day. At 17, one can only imagine what that must represent. It is an age when one believes oneself to be invincible and where death has no place. We have life ahead of us, right? The harsh reality is quite different. A violent and disturbing observation. Yet the author chooses to treat this with a loop effect, and for me Before I Fall is a metaphor for the seven stages of mourning, of mourning one’s own life. Seven days, seven feelings. Denial, guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, reconstruction, acceptance. And there, I say bravo, because not only does it help us, the readers, to accept everything that follows, but in addition, we arrive at an interesting journey and at a depth that I did not necessarily expect.
The seven days that Sam lives are a fascinating journey, a realization, a sudden change but so beautiful to see. I didn’t really appreciate Sam at the very beginning, to confess it to you, but in the end, this little bit of a woman has become for me an endearing heroine, the ones we want to protect from everything and for whom we hope … despite life. And that’s what I will keep in memory of this novel. Not necessarily the points I will now address.
Two things stand out the most for me, on the negative sides. Already the cartoonish side of the characters. Sam and her bunch of friends are popular, and inevitably they are superficial, mean, party-loving teenagers who don’t care about anything and don’t care about the consequences of their actions. the handsome sporty kid is a bastard who only thinks of jumping his girlfriend. If you are not popular you are bound to be a social dump. You are in second or first: same story. It’s all normalized and it pissed me off at many times. I think the author could have reached the same points in his story by diluting this caricature effect. Certain points have their interest for the continuation of the story but frankly… Lindsay is I think the most telling example. Even though Sam found qualities in her, I didn’t see any of them in this lost and mean teenage girl. She has her reasons, I’ll grant you that, but she’s not doing anything to help matters. An even more poignant parallel to Sam because in a sense, she is the only one to evolve. Even if this development and what she manages to do during her days are ultimately erased. A little side all that for what bothered me.
I come to the second point. What did the author want to create? Closing the novel, I got this feeling that Sam had accomplished so much, and yes admittedly some of his actions will (hopefully) have positive repercussions, but we don’t know. And the worst part is that the reader is the only one who knows certain things and no one else will ever know. Certainly for us it brings a lot of meaning to the whole story but I wish it affected the characters as well. I even wonder if Sam actually lived through those seven days. Didn’t she just die the first time, and what we discover, these seven days are in fact a passage during our death to accept our fate. Give us the opportunity to settle some things, experience others, and leave without regret.
Why, then, did Sam have this chance to relive that day? No explanation. What was the point of all this? No explanation. You can only infer some things at the end, but it’s not clear. The ending itself doesn’t really make sense to me, either. There is no doubt about Sam’s fate but why did she come to this conclusion? There is also so much cruelty with this ending, towards Sam, the reader, his friends, his relatives… In the end not knowing. Nothing. I was sad to see all this slip away and the resignation of our heroine who then had only one goal: to save a life. And this is perhaps the worst. This selfless altruism.
Lauren Oliver – Before I Fall Audiobook is therefore a novel that makes you think and does not leave you indifferent. I would also go see the film out of curiosity to extend my journey a little more with Sam.