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tennisgirl3194
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Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

Sam is a person who changes everything about herself in order to fit in with the popular girls. She's nasty to the people that she feels are beneath her and doesn't even want to have anything to do with her little sister, who's said to have a lisp.

 

The real Sam, who she is when she's being herself, would never fit in with the friends that she wants to keep, unfortunately. She doesn't do anything that would label her as different and get her ostracized.

 

Sam's past friendship with Kent shows that she wasn't always like this. Something happened to change her feelings toward Kent. Even though she may think Kent would be a good friend, Lindsay, Ally, and Elody do not accept him, so Sam doesn't either.

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vpenning
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎11-03-2009

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

Like many of the others here, I agree that Sam's character is portrayed as being shallow and sad. She is a follower. One of those kids who trades popularity for their soul.They give up who they really are to be what they think is how they should be.

 

I have seen this kind of kid before, and have seen characters like Lindsay in the real high school halls. These students have many crosses to carry in their own lives and often their treatment of others stems from their own hurts and issues.

 

As I read, I wonder what issues Lindsay has that makes her want to lash out at others, to demean them before they can hurt her. Her actions, and leadership among the girls shows that she has a soft side, but it is buried deep and can lead to the destruction of others around her. The car crash being a good example.

 

Unlike the poster above who wondered how Sam could not understand how she was living the same life over again, I understood why it took so long. Shock. When one is hit with a major life crisis, whether it be death or a chronic disease,  our first reaction is denial. To believe that it was deja vu is part of that denial. I think Sam on some level did know it....but, denial is a strong force, and can even make your brain believe things that aren't true to be true.

 

I do not think any of the characters so far as described would be good ones for Sam to confide in about her fears of living the day over again. Their reactions to simple things like the fact that they caused Sarah to be late show they do not think beyond the moment. To be able to stretch ones mind to believe in science fiction like realities of time falling back on itself I do not believe is possible for either Lindsay, Ally, or Elody. Rob can't even see beyond his sexual urges to even think of his girlfriend as a human being, let alone a ghost.

 

Kent is a possibility...but, at this point, Sam's relationship with him is so strained from years of her basically ignoring him, that I do not believe she would feel comfortable enough to tell him her thoughts on reliving the day.This is especially true after she joins in the bullying treatment of Juliet at the party. His reaction is almost pure hatred to here. In addition, since she herself is just now beginning to understand it herself, I am not sure Sam would adequately know how to explain her situation to others.

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ponkle
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-30-2009

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

I think everyone in highschool wants to fit in, I think we all have a little of that I wish I was popular in us. Sometimes even in adulthood it's hard not to wish we just fit in. Cliches (sp) will always be there and I think it's the hardest part of high school. Even within the "out" groups you have your people dissing on the other groups. This is all such a pointless struggle but it exists and is a start for life. Companies are the same way. I don't think this goes away but we may learn not to care or care so much.

 

That being said, I hate Sam but understand her at the same time, she's just trying to do what everyone does.

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 


Rachel-K wrote:

What kind of person is Sam?

I actually did not dislike Sam, I felt sorry for her. She seems over indulged with few rules to guide her behavior and little fear about reprisals for her misbehavior.
However, I disliked what she stood for, the quintessential bully who strides around with the attitude that she is untouchable and can do as she pleases without much fear of repercussion, thoughtlessly hurting others who happen to get in her way.

Yet, she didn't start out that way. She was on the other side of the spectrum and didn't learn the lesson it should have taught her when she was allowed into the select group. She knew how it felt to be bullied and she could have had a positive influence on the group if she hadn't been so afraid of being "dumped" from the group. She empowered them with her weakness and fear, to continue to bully others.

The author completely understood the emotional immaturity of the teenager. The fact that she wants to be remembered for foolish pranks and for drunken binges illustrates how unable these kids are to make proper judgments without proper guidance.

 

 

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Benz1966
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎11-11-2009

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress?  My first impression of Sam is one of the typical teenage girls.  Thoughtless, selfish, "popular" in the worst sense of the word.  However, there's something underlying with her - the way she treats her younger sister, the way she recognizes "goodness" in her friend, that kind of took me by surprise and didn't jive with what my first impression of her was.

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd?  Sam seems to be the voice of reason in her group.  She's not a leader, but she's the one who makes everything "stick" within their group.

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect?  Lindsay and Elody stick out the most in my memory (I'm a fast reader.. and have finished the book so I'm going back over and reviewing as I type this hehe).  I wasn't all that impressed with Ally, but they are definitely their own distinct personalities.

 

Lindsay's self proclaimed "theme song" is "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige. Does this fit her?  No. Not at all.  I think Lindsay loves drama.

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her?  That she doesn't necessarily want to let go.  She wants to be the kind of person that could maintain an open and honest relationship with Kent - but, like all teenage girls, she's afraid of how it will affect her image.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again?  At this point in the book, I'd say no.  My answer will change though as we progress. =)

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 

On Friday, the 12th, I think Sam should wake up and confide in Kent. He was the most stable and was her friend since childhood. In the first two chapters, he seemed to have an inner strength and more consideration for the feelings of others than most of her friends. I think what Sam may discover is that her friends are really not friends but rather shallow acquaintances.
I had the impression that although Kent wasn't the most popular, he was accepted and was able to straddle both groups of students, the in crowd and the "not so in" crowd to which he was probably relegated. They didn't welcome him but they went to his parties. He seemed more mature.

Rachel-K wrote:

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again?


 

 

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luna12TK
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-04-2010

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

When I first started reading this book I was horrified by Sam and her friends.  However the more I kept reading and the more I thought about highschool the more I understood the characters.  Sam is your typical highschool girl who found a chance to move up the social ladder.  (I'm not saying their behavior is right.) Sam went from being the target of bullying to being accepted into the inner circle of the "popular" group.  Everyone is saying how self-centered Sam and her friends are but aren't most teenagers?  I think Sam and her group of friends are a perfect depcition of your typical "popuar" clique in any American Highschool. 

I think at this stage in her life Sam fits in completely with her crowd.  Over the years she has changed who and what she is to match with Lindsay, Ally, and Elody.  While they all still have their indivuality they have formed a lot of their lives around each other.  Sam comes from what seems like a middle class family.  Her mom seems to almost encourage her quest for popularity.   

As for Lindsay's choice of theme song, I think it's perfect.  Lindsay doesn't see enough to know that she is the person causing drama, she thinks it is everyone else that brings the drama on by their behaviors.  Underneath evereything I think Lindsay is just scared of people seeing who she really is and what is behind all the fancy clothes.   So in her mind she is the one living a Drama Free life.

 

If I were Sam with her circle of friends I think I would keep my recurring day as a secret too.  It doesn't seem like she has any friends at this point in her life that would understand and believe her with out commiting her to a looney bin!

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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

[ Edited ]

 

This book has raised lots of questions for me.

I know there are young adults reading this book. I wonder what they think of the parents in the book who seem to expect so little of their children, giving them fancy cars and “stuff” without the requisite instruction on responsibility.

Do the young adults out there want more or less discipline? How do the young adults think these kinds of situations arise? How do they think bullies can be stopped? What makes someone popular and what perpetuates their "mean" behavior? Why would people still "worship" these people even when they are mean?

What do they think of a parent who would allow them to be in a car driven by someone who is known to be careless and reckless, without intervening?

Why is casual sex treated like a contest? Would they like stricter moral and ethical rules?

 

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ambika22
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎08-31-2009

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress?

Sam is the typical and perfect highschool girl that stands out. We see how badly she treats her little sister, and that demonstrates she's not a very kind person. I think that when the cupid day starts all over again she tries to change a little bit her behaviour, but she is still kind of annoying.

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd?

Usually in high school girls tend to go in little groups, supporting each other and i think Sam belongs to this crowd. All of them are more or less the same from the outside, and even if we dont learn much about their friends yet, they are all alike.

 

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her?

I liked Kent from the beginning. Maybe because he seems like a kind guy even if hes a little freakish and I liked the rose he sended her, it was really nice.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again?

I dont think i will tell anyone since its sounds like something a crazy people would say. At least, i will not tell the first day. If i see every time its all over the same i would probably think about it.

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krb2g
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

I was really disappointed in Sam's relationship to her family and to her little sister. I know when I was younger, I didn't get along very well with my sister (who is five years younger than I, and always seemed like a bit of a pest), and now I regret missing that time and I really enjoy her company. I really appreciate my family and enjoy spending time with them, and I hate seeing someone miss those relationships from a family that seems like it could be a lot of fun.

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lg4154
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

Sam seems to be more of a follower than a leader in my opinion. She could be a really nice person, but the ppl she hangs out with seem to corrupt her. It seems like she was brought into this crowd to make the others more superior, as in very selfishly bringing her in to the popular scene to make them appear more noticed than she. Reminds me of the movie mean girls, how they all feed off each other.

 

It seems all of her friends have lots of skeletons in their closet.  Lindsay theme song fits her perfectly in my opinion.

 

I think Sam has a secret crush on Kent and is flattered that he notices her. It really bothers her when she sees him talking to another girl. I think her crowd would be furious if she hooked up with him & this might be part of her fascination with him.

 

None of her friends seem to be perfect candidates for Sam to confide in for the Friday the 12th. She would be better off talking to her family or confiding in a teacher or guidance counselor.

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SpunkiiReader
Posts: 447
Registered: ‎05-08-2009

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

from the very beginning I loved Kent. and I agree with some of the other that Sam still likes him but is scared to continue her friendship with him becuase of Lindsey, Ally, and Elody. She knows that just because you are popular today doesnt mean you always will be. so shes doesnt want to let her friends see her weaknesses..

 

I think Sam want to fit in with Lindsey and the others because shes scared of what will happen is shes on the other side. she sees how the other people around them are treated even when that person hasnt done anything, like when she cant remember why they started making fun of someone and now they just do it because if funny to everyone else.

 

I think its funny that Lindsey's theme song is No More Drama since thats all she ever brings is nothing but drama. its a little ironic..

gl
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gl
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 


Rachel-K wrote:

Hi all,

 

Please use any of the following questions to kick off our discussion of Before I Fall. Feel free to post your own questions and ideas for the rest of the group, too!

 

Please remember that this thread only covers the first two chapters!

 

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress?

Sam seems secure and reveling in her popularity. While there are moments when she recognizes that Lindsay "elevated" her to the popular girls, Sam doesn't spend too much time worrying about how her popularity makes her act differently than she might have otherwise nor does it make her question how her clique behaves.  She implies that the popular/powerful just do more, get away with more and shouldn't worry about it. There is no corresponding obligation or responsiblity that comes with the greater popularity or social power.

 

As she says herself on page 17, "The point is, we can do things like that.  You know why? Because we're popular.  And we're popular because we can get away with everything. So it's circular...I guess what I'm saying is there's no point in analyzing it. If you draw a circle, there will always be an inside and an outside, and unless you're a total nut job it's pretty easy to see which is which.  It's just what happens."

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd?

In the first 2 chapters, she seems to fit in quite well. She may have occasional qualms about their cruelty but the qualms are easily quashed. Sam dives into the bullying seemingly with little regret or second thoughts.

 

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect?

Yes, I thought that Lauren Oliver differentiated each of the friends quite well, from their physical descriptions to their relationships/boyfriends to their friendship with Sam.  The group doesn't come across as a group of interchangeable "Heathers."

 

 

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her?

Sam's treatment of Kent reveals Sam's insecurity and willingness to drop a good friend for popularity.

 

 


 

 

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lau05
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

[ Edited ]

In the first chapters, Sam always want to be alone in home. She doesn't leave her mother enter in her room and she doesn't support people makes fun of Izzy and besides, Izzy doesn't know to match the clothes.

She thinks her mother desn't worry by her. Also, it is her attitude with Kent. She ignores him, though they were childhood friends, cause popularity's protocol says it. He is a freaky and she is popular, so that impossible friendship. These acts provoke that I hate Sam in the beginning as Lauren Oliver already promised us.

As far as her friends, Lindsay is the worst due to her leadership in the group. When Lindsay and Sam cut the classrooms and go to TCBY, they meet with Alex and Kate, and Lindsay can't help enter in the shop and speak with them, in order to let them know she had seen them (Alex is unfaithful to Brianna).

 

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BoilerWriter
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

 


Rachel-K wrote:

Hi all,

 

Please use any of the following questions to kick off our discussion of Before I Fall. Feel free to post your own questions and ideas for the rest of the group, too!

 

Please remember that this thread only covers the first two chapters!

 

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress?

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd?

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect?

 

Lindsay's self proclaimed "theme song" is "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige. Does this fit her?

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her?

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again?


 

 

Lindsey feels she is the decision maker for the universe and her friends have given her the power to rule. She likes to create drama for others, so that no one will question the drama that exists in her own life. It's her mechanism for appearing to be in control when on the inside she's falling apart. She puts up a superficial front to keep herself surrounded by followers who seek her for her beauty and popularity, but she admonishes anyone who is able to dig deep enough to uncover her flaws. She terrorizes Juliet Sykes because she obviously knows inside secrets about Lindsey from childhood. Lindsey will do everything in her power to keep her 'drama' from being revealed.

 

Sam doesn't recognize that she likes the qualities in Kent initially, because knowing Kent better isn't on her radar screen. Associating with him will hinder, not promote, her popularity. I felt from the start that Kent was the only genuine character. He's honest and kind and sees something in Sam that hasn't shown on the surface for many years. I'm sure by the end of the novel their relationship will evolve as Sam grows to know Kent from a deeper perspective.

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ethel55
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Registered: ‎04-11-2008
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

Actually, I was glad I read Lauren Oliver's open letter to us after reading the novel and before posting, it really helped align some of my thoughts for me.

 

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress?

I think it's interesting that her little sister is so much younger. Izzy is only 8 and that wide a difference makes it almost like they're both onlies.  Sam sure doesn't have time for her on these first couple mornings.

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd?

Whenever it was the Sam "made" it, she consciously forgot about her older friends, like Kent and set about the task of being popular and perfect.

 

Do we learn things about each Lindsay, Ally and Elody that make them individual and not so cookie-cutter perfect?

Well, sure. I think more will continue to be revealed, but they all have secrets.

 

Lindsay's self proclaimed "theme song" is "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige. Does this fit her?

Of course.  See the word drama.

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her?

Again, here's a girl that grew up in the place she's now in highschool. She has lots of former friends, but has decided being part of the popular group and hoping those old friends don't remember her is more important.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again?

Actually, I did think it was interesting that Sam has been keeping this secret to herself so far.  I would think she would have blabbed to one of her peeps right away about the strange dream she's been having, and shake it off as if it were nothing.

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Lil_Irish_Lass
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Registered: ‎11-21-2008
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

I've only made it through the first chapter so far and have to admit, I'm not "hooked" yet. Sam and her cronies are selfish, annoying brats... and while it is an accurate depiction of high school (and especially in the wealthier areas of CT... Ridgeview may be a fictitious town but it sounds very much like the town I grew up in in CT) it makes it almost impossible for me to even care that she's dead, part of me feels like she deserved it.

From skimming other posts it sounds like Chapter 2 might give me some hope of any redeemable qualities in Sam, but right now I'm staying skeptical.

I do think it would be interesting to look at how people react to even just the first chapter and Sam and her friends (and their actions) in relation to how popular they were in high school. Perhaps if you were a member of the Mean Girls (wait, I mean popular crowd), you might find their actions to be just fine... while I would bet that if you were like me, and had to bear the brunt of the social hierarchy that you would find Sam and her friends' actions deplorable.

Does Sam have more of a chance of becoming a decent human being than the rest of her clique? Yes, but the cynic in me doesn't see it happening.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman." - The Woman in White
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

[ Edited ]

 

From your post, I guess you had a rough time in school.  However, thinking she deserves to be dead is a bit extreme. When I was in high school, I was not one of the cool kids. I was an honor student, in Arista, etc. I worked to earn extra money. Although I was not poor, I suppose I lived in a world some place between low and middle income. This kind of precluded me from the popular group.
There were "mean" popular, cool girls who had more money than I did but I had my friends and pretty much straddled the fence being nice to everyone else. The mean girls were mean to me but I tried to ignore them. I dated older "boys", not in my high school. I created a life outside of school that made me happy and secure.
Later in life, I moved to a community and one of the mean girls lived there too. Believe it or not, she was still a "mean" girl. She was popular and knew everyone. I was a newcomer. She was still mean to me. I could never figure it out. I sent her a note and asked if we could start again since we lived in the same community and she called me up and told me she wouldn't know me if she fell over me. That was the rub...the mean girls mean more to us than we do to them. We don't forget them but they consider us very forgettable. I decided to be polite to her but I was still blatantly ignored. Once again, I made my own friends with people I liked who actually enjoyed being with me too. I ignored her unless we came face to face and then, although she didn't acknowledge me, my upbringing made me acknowledge her with a smile.
She is gone now. She had a dealy form of cancer. I even offered to have a bone marrow test for her because we came from similar backgrounds. She probably never got well enough to even hear about my offer. Because she was mean, didn't mean I had to be mean too.
The point of my story is what goes around comes around. Our grandchildren were born on the same day. Her daughter and my daughter live in the same area and are friends. I have told my daughter never to tell her daughter who I am! :smileysurprised:

Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:

I've only made it through the first chapter so far and have to admit, I'm not "hooked" yet. Sam and her cronies are selfish, annoying brats... and while it is an accurate depiction of high school (and especially in the wealthier areas of CT... Ridgeview may be a fictitious town but it sounds very much like the town I grew up in in CT) it makes it almost impossible for me to even care that she's dead, part of me feels like she deserved it.

From skimming other posts it sounds like Chapter 2 might give me some hope of any redeemable qualities in Sam, but right now I'm staying skeptical.

I do think it would be interesting to look at how people react to even just the first chapter and Sam and her friends (and their actions) in relation to how popular they were in high school. Perhaps if you were a member of the Mean Girls (wait, I mean popular crowd), you might find their actions to be just fine... while I would bet that if you were like me, and had to bear the brunt of the social hierarchy that you would find Sam and her friends' actions deplorable.

Does Sam have more of a chance of becoming a decent human being than the rest of her clique? Yes, but the cynic in me doesn't see it happening.


 

 

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flarglepuf
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Registered: ‎01-07-2010
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

I'm not doubting the fact that it was entirely reasonably for Sam to be confused.  It is, admittedly, a very unusual occurrence.  What annoyed my most was the fact that Sam was talking in detail about her death in the prologue and supposedly completely understand it, yet 80 pages later she is utterly clueless and thinks it was all a dream.


kpatton wrote:

 

flarglepuf- I thought some of Sam's "cluelessness" in the second chapter was very appropriate for a teenager.  I'm not sure any of us would put all of the pieces together quickly.  Who would believe that you were living a day over and that this was a day when you would die?
Kathy

 

~~~~~
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!
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tracyjacobs007
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

What kind of person is Sam? What do we know about her family? Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress? Sam is very shallow.  She is worried about how she looks and about her popularity.  We know that she has a little sister that she finds very annoying.  The only thing I find surprising is that Sam has a conscience but she chooses not to use it.  She doesn't make any choices for herself.  She does things for other people, and not in a good way. 

 

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd? She fits in with the crowd because they are all mean girls and popular.  She has the popular boyfriend and the nice house and is invited to all the parties.  She could do so much better and has a chance to be a better person, but chooses not to be.

 

 

What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her? 

She has some kind of connection with him.  She seems to want him to want her as more than just a friend, but then if he did like her she would want to make fun of him instead of admit any feelings she has for him.  I think they could still be good friends, if she wasn't so stuck-up.

 

If you were Sam, do you think there is one friend you would confide in when you woke up to start Friday the 12th over again? I don't think that their would be anyone that I would confide in.  They would think I was completely crazy.

 

Tracy