I discovered “Before I Fall” about a year after its publication, and it has been one of my favorite books since then. A lot of Lauren Oliver’s books have been optioned as movies over the years, but never made it past the screenplay development process. “Delirium” was even turned into a TV show, only for it to stop production after filming the pilot episode. Because I expected “Before I Fall” to have the same results as Oliver’s others books—that it would never have the movie—I was genuinely surprised (and excited) when I saw Lauren Oliver share a trailer on Twitter.
“Before I Fall” is the movie adaptation you wish all your favorite books would get. It isn’t entirely faithful to the books, mostly because it left out some scenes. Apart from some missing scenes, however, it was a spot-on remake of the book. Lauren Oliver conveys a lot with her words, and the movie manages to do the same with tone & cinematography. That’s what truly makes this a good adaptation.
Tone and style choices aside, “Before I Fall” is essentially a more mysterious “Groundhog Day” starring a teenage girl. Samantha goes through a normal Valentine’s Day. At the end of the day her friends are in a car crash…and when Sam wakes up she begins the same day again. Each repeated day brings new behavior from Sam, and reveals elements of the mystery keeping Sam in a time loop.
Overall, I prefer the book to the movie. There is plenty to praise about both, however. For a quality, emotional YA book, “Before I Fall” is an excellent pick. And the movie is good for viewing afterwards.