Another book vs. movie!! And this time it’s for one of my favourite YAs, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. This is the story about Sam Kingston, a senior in high school who dies on February 13th and keeps living this day over for a week. During this day (these days??), she learns a lot about her three best friends, her boyfriend, her ex-best friend, herself, and her life in general.
I love the book. It’s honestly one of my favourite YAs and I read it honestly probably every summer. It’s a really good road trip book, if you know what I mean. It’s easy but still interesting and does make you think about life a bit.
The ending, however, is one of my least favourite endings ever. Literally such a bad ending (in my opinion). I dislike it mainly because it seems like her death was a suicide. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but the first time she dies, it’s obviously an accident. The last day, however, she does so many things that would have been total red flags if you know someone who has attempted suicide. I hate it, because I just think about what her friends and family would be thinking in hindsight, and I don’t think it was a fair way to end it for those characters.
But, how did the movie compare? Overall, it was pretty good. The book has A LOT of detail, which makes it really interesting to read. The movie was less detailed, but it makes sense for a movie. They also changed the week thing. She lives the same day over and over and over again several more times, which I also think made sense for a movie but was different.
There’s one scene in the book that wasn’t in the movie. For me, it’s such a pivotal point in the book that I think something was lost by not including it in the movie. It would have explained a lot regarding some of the later choices Sam makes. However, there was a line in the movie that wasn’t in the book that I think was a good addition. It really justified a lot of the things Sam does regarding Rob (her boyfriend). So I wish they would have explicitly added the scene from the book and kept that line from the movie.
The casting of the movie was really good too. I liked that it wasn’t four white girls and I could believe that they were seniors in high school. I also think the casting for Kent (Sam’s ex-best friend from elementary) was great. He was cute, but not overly attractive or anything, which is what he’s supposed to be. That was good, as there’s a lot of attractive people cast as “average” attractiveness. I didn’t like who played Juliet, the girl Sam and her friends bully. I thought she did a great job; however, I didn’t like how Juliet was portrayed as “crazy.” From what I got from the book, she’s a regular girl who has depression from years and years of bullying. I think having her be your typical “crazy” took away from her character and the feelings she had towards Sam and her friends. So I wish that was different.
One thing that I really liked and I think is really important was the portrayal of female friendships in this movie. It was so well done. I loved that they were genuinely best friends. They genuinely love and care for and respect each other and there was no petty jealousy or fighting. I think this is accurate of most real-life friendships, but unfortunately isn’t portrayed very much in movies for women. I think that aspect of the movie was very important and I’m really glad it was portrayed that way.
All in all, I thought the movie was a good representation of the book. I wish they’d portrayed Juliet better and I wish that one scene was kept. The rest, however, was well done and I really enjoyed watching it. It made me want to re-read the book (even though I just read it like eight months ago).
Have you read the book or seen the movie?? Let me know if you have!
Thanks for reading 🙂