Before I Fall was a fantastic book. I feel like anyone and everyone could relate to at least one of the characters in this book. For me it was definitely Sam, and on so many levels. From the time I was 5 until around 8 I was bullied by the older kids on the street I grew up on. I remember them calling me names like "Trasha", popping my bike tires, and at one point making the most disgusting concoction of laundry detergent, dirt, twigs and leaves in a glass and trying to make me drink it. It was awful. I can't remember what changed or how but after awhile it all stopped and from then on we were all the best of friends for many years. I also remember starting my first year in middle school and trying to fit in and get noticed. And I accomplished that by making another girls life miserable. She was my own personal Juliet Sykes. I tortured that poor girl for the entire year of 6th grade. All the while at home for me things were falling apart, my grandmother who had raised me since birth was diagnosed with lung cancer. No one was really aware of just how devistating it all was because in school it seemed as if I had no worries and everything was all sunshine and roses. I'll never forget running into this girl later in the summer at the pubic pool. Something huge had changed for me, I didn't want to hurt anyone anymore and I felt nothing but deep remorse for what I had done. I walked right up to her and appoligized and unbeknownst to me then, that was the start of an amazing friendship between the two of us. When my grandmother passed away year later it was her hand holding mine throughout the funeral. I never really bullied anyone after that either. I still had my mean girl moments, as I think most teenage girls do, but I really had so many friends in every shape and size and made an effort not to judge others so harshly.
Wow, now that I'm done rambling on about my personal life lol, that's the thing though, this beautiful book made me think of all of this. It truely spoke to anyone who had ever been an a young kid just trying to figure out the kind of person they want to be and what they will ultimately be remembered for. Nothing really ever felt rushed or unrealistic about Sam's journey. It all flowed so well. She was not a perfect person and while it was hard to accept sone of the things she had done, you couldn't not feel her struggles. All the characters literally jumped of the pages. they were so real! I absolutely adored Kent. I mean come on, how could you not?! Itwas all too easy to picture who that was for me in high school too! He was a skater boy who i had started seeing in the summer, he was funny, gorgeous, and an absolute sweetheart. He marched to his own beat though and never fit in. So naturally once school started again I broke it off and avoided him like he had the plague. It's silly to think of now, but I was a fool then. I let an awesome guy go just in fear because he wasn't "cool" enough for me to date. So, like I said I really feel like anyone could read this and be transported back to their own high school experience, or it could speak to what they are currently going through. And that ending!!!! It was glorious and heart wrenching at the same time! I really enjoyed the journey this book took me on, seriously if you haven't read this book yet.....DO IT!