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kpatton
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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went on line and read the lyrics to No More Drama.  After reading that, I think this song fits Lindsey well.  I think she creates drama around herself to keep from focusing on the real, painful drama going on in her personal life.  I am thinking that as I read on I'll learn more about all of the friends' skeletons.

Here is a part of the song that I felt fit:

"Broken heart again another lesson learnt

Better know your friends or else you'll be burn

Gotta count on me 'cause I can guarantee

That I'll be fine, oh help me"

I think Lindsey feels like she is the only one she can rely on.

Kathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?


 

 

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

 

Before I read your post, I posted something similar about Lindsey.  I totally agree with your impressions of her.
Kathy

BoilerWriter wrote:

 


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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Lovez-to-Read
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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? 

 

 We get to see that she wasn't always 'popular' and that she cares way too much about what people have to say about her. Not much on her family yet, but her sister comes out & I remember thinking that her sister seemed OK, but like any other person she is annoyed by her sister. Well the relationship Kent and she had when they were kids and how he became 'weird'. She was about to go to the next level with rob, and in chapter 2 he seems like the worst and only interest in doing her.

  

 

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

 

 Well obviously she goes with the crowd and copies her friends, but not in the annoying way. She has been hanging out with Lindsay and all of them that she eventually became like them, but not exactly into one of them.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 Lindsay is beautiful but can be immature and won a burping contest. Ally has huge boobs (lolz) and lots of money and seems kind of insecure. Elody (love the name) wears fluffy slippers to school. & Sam once spit latte on a boy.

 

 

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

 

 No because she kind of is drama. She is crazy and I love her personality, but like Sam says since they are 'popular' they can get away with anything, so they try to pull off a lot.

 

  

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

 

 That they were good friends and that she used to be sweet, just like Kent seems. 

 

   

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?

 

Well maybe Kent but she doesn’t 'see' him as someone she can trust yet. Lindsay, Elody, and Ally would probably think she was on some drug...without them. (Lolz). No I don’t think so.

 

 

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girlie0620
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

I believe that Sam is a girl who has become caught up in the "act" she puts on- she doesn't even realize it in the beginning of the book. I don't believe she really "fits in" with the crowd she is with all the time. She does what they do and believes she is exactly like them... but I think she questions her own judgment. Sam's relationship with Kent shows that she has not only changed to become someone different but she doesn't want to "see" the girl she was before. She pushes him away because maybe he knows the REAL her. That is scary especially to a teen girl trying to hide among others.     

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

Sam is a product of her environment.I know of course she is more sensitive than her friends,given what she has endured ,Being on the outside looking in.Now she is one of the "Girls" ,but still questions herself.is this the right thing to do?if she doesn't "Follow" what is expected of her,then there is that chance she will be outside of her circle that she tried so hard to get into,accepted.I never hated her,how could I? Why would I dislike someone like Sam,who has more awareness in her little finger then the others in her group.,but she doesn't know that yet...For now.Only 2 chapters into the book...Her family at this point is upper middle class,Ct..She seems to have alot of freedom..Drinking,parents not aware of it..Not sure. yet..Close to her little sister in a big sister way....Kent seems for now,more of his own person,I like him.If there are two people she could confide in during her "Fall" so to speak..it could be Kent....or maybe..A big maybe..Juliet..Also i must mention this.She  is an underachiever...just to fit in..Will know more later on..In the meantime,I do want to donate a copy to a "Group" here that would benefit greatly from reading this book.....

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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blue2280
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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 a girl (so far) who sacrificed everything to be popular. She is the type of person who will demean herself (and others) to fit in. She is weak. She does not have the backbone to be herself and be ok with it. She lost things she loved doing, and friends that truly cared about her at the expense of her becoming "popular." She has even alienated her parents at this point and her little sister just because it would be "uncool" to actually have a relationship with them. Sam and her friends are the embodiment of what is wrong with teenagers. They don't yet realize there is a world out there beyond high school where none of this crap they focus so hard in on in high school actually means anything later.

 

I am not sure if it is classified as surprising, but we do learn that Sam is about to have sex for the first time with her boyfriend, and that she is doing it not because she thinks she is ready, but because she is scared of it and just wants to get it over with, beside the fact that Elody and Lindsey have already done it and she wants them to stop teasing her about her "virgin" status.

If they were really friends, they wouldn't care if Sam was or was not having sex, and she definitely should not be doing it because she feels like she needs to get it over with.

 

I will say these girls are not impressing me at the beginning here.

 

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

 

What is evident from the very beginning is that all these girls are risk takers. Some of them smoke, they all drink (and drive), they don't wear seatbelts, and they have sex (at least it is protected since Elody is actually giving Sam condoms for her night with Rob).

 

We learn that Elody's mom is an alcoholic. We learn that Lindsey has had what is probably technically date rape (I am going on limb and assuming this, I may be wrong) while visiting her brother in NYC and she chooses to ignore this as her 'first time" having sex. We learn that Ally may or may not have an eating problem, but she loves to cook food.

 

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

 

I don't think it fits her as much as Lindsey wishes that it would be true. Lindsey, I think, creates a lot of drama around her, more than tries to ignore it. I think Lindsey has had some bad experiences she tries to cover up by acting like she does. If she acts perfect and picks on other people before they have a chance to pick on her, then she doesn't have to reveal the skeletons in her closet. In a way, she actually is alienating herself, because truthfully, no one actually likes the popular people. They are all fake relationships, built on fake foundations, by truly fake people who have nothing else going for them except the ability to be popular.

 

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

 

That deep down, she really isn't the "popular" girl she thinks she is. That she realizes that there are more important things than being popular and that it really is special to find people who genuinely care about you. I have not yet decided, if taken out of the high school environment, if Sam, Lindsey, Ally and Elody would still be friends, but I do think that if taken out of this environment, Sam and Kent would be friends, if not more.

 

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?

 

This is hard because I wouldn't have been friends with those girls in the first place. I never really got along with girls period, so I would say, if I were smart, it would be Kent. I liked him from the beginning. I never had the stomach to deal with teenager girl drama. I still don't have the stomach, and now even the patience, to deal with female drama period.

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veronica1890
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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?

-well we know that sam wants to fit in. She has an 8 year old sister who she thinks is a freak.


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

Everyone in her school dress alike and she wants to loose her virginity so she won't be the 'last one'  

 

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

 - It feels as though Lindsay is the leader and everyone else just follows her. But only 2 of them own their own cars. 

 

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

no because her life is full of drama 

 

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

that she is still sort of friends with him from childhood but is embarrassed to  be seen with him. it also tells you that shes not such a jerk and remembers a bit where she came from before she became popular.

 

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?

- maybe if i were sam i would confide in kent because he seems down to earth and wont judge me 

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

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 have to say, the fact that Sam had no one to confide in on Friday is an indication of the unsupportive and shallow relationships she has with her so called close friends. Life's too short not to surround yourself with good friends and family that will get you through any hurtles in life, even if they seem crazy like living a day over again. I hope that Sam realizes this before the end of the book.

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Think-Im-Listening
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎11-06-2008

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 a follower. her parents don't seem to care all too much about where Sam goes at night.

 

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

No. It seems like it on the outside, but on the inside Sam really really wants to fit in so she tries to say and do the right things. She's acting fake.

 

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

How Elody throws herself at Muffin, with no respect for herself. Ally doesn't seem to have much of a backbone. I'm not really sure about Lindsay since I'm doing this off the top of my head I don't really know if her problems come in this early.

 

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

No, because she causes drama. But I'm basing this on the song title since I have never actually heard the lyrics to the song.

 

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

She cares too much what people think. She liked being friends with Kent, but she wont give him a chance because he is viewed to be a geek, nerd, freak etc.

 

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?

No, not really. Ally only follows and tentatively shows her own opinion. And if Lindsey were to reject that opinion she would immediately take it back. Elody seems to want to avoid most deep conversations. And Lindsey would probably turn on Sam and start making fun of her.

"If your heart wears thin, I will hold you up, and I will hide you when it gets too much" -Mariana's Trench
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Olibhe
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

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?

-To answer this question, I would say no. I would do similar to what Sam did at first, just go through the day thinking it was all a really vivid dream. Later though I wou would have probably told my boyfriend that I thought  I was going crazy if I really ' loved' him. That way I would have seen who he really was sooner. In times like these (not exactly like these, this doesn't exactly happen to everyone) you learn who your real friends are.

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


Olibhe 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?

-To answer this question, I would say no. I would do similar to what Sam did at first, just go through the day thinking it was all a really vivid dream. Later though I wou would have probably told my boyfriend that I thought  I was going crazy if I really ' loved' him. That way I would have seen who he really was sooner. In times like these (not exactly like these, this doesn't exactly happen to everyone) you learn who your real friends are.


Vtc wrote..I just posted and then I read others,I am going to go with what you said "A dream,could it be?It helps me not to think the worst..going on to Chapter 3..I just can't wait...Vtc...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Lildove3
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

Sam is self centered,he family is very average basic family,nothing very surprising about Sam, she's

the typical high school girl.

 

Sam tries to act like the leader of the pack.

 

These girls in some cases tries to out do each other.

 

No,Lindsay does not fit her proclaimed song.

 

I feel Sam would like a better friendship with Kent,but fears her friends wouldn't approve.

 

No, becuase they are so self absobed,they would not care or understand.

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J.R._BookWorm
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

2. Sam fits in by having a popular boyfriend and having popular friends

3. They smoke and drink

6. I'd probably tell my best friend...

"I didn't have quite same...upbringing as my adopted siblings here. My begining was something else entirely."
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~Eclipse~
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stopper19
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Re: Before I Fall, Early Chapters, 1-2

She and her friends go to great effort to fit in perfectly. How does Sam really fit in with this crowd? Sam fits in with the crowd through her outside appearance and efforts. On the inside Sam is really different from everyone else. Everyone is different but they tried their hardest to cover up the "bad" things in their lives which is their normal selves and personalities. They were trying to live by the standards that everyone is expected to live by. There is not much of a choice for them, follow the crowd and be popular or be yourself and not have any friends. So Sam chose the easy route, be best friends with Lindsey and follow everyone else even if that meant living behind old friends or breaking other people down.

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

Reading the first 2 chapters reminded me of the picture book written by Eleanor Estes, "100 Dresses". Lindsay was similar to Peggy, Sam was similar to Maddie (Maddie was also the person from whose point of view the story was told), and Juliane was similar to Wanda Petronski, who they had decided to gang up on because she "deserved it", based on some justification or other.

 

I agree with some of the posters on this thread. Sam is a follower. I think in a way, being a follower is the easiest and most comfortable position to be in. Leaders (like Lindsay), set the bar, while the outcasts are the ones who are picked on. Being a follower, however, you get to do things and escape responsibility for them to a certain extent. She also fits in, so she has the best of both worlds. I can't really say I liked or disliked her at this point. I guess, being the follower that she is, she also seemed bland at first. 

 

I wasn't familiar with Mary J. Bilge's song, so I looked up the lyrics online. I think that it's not surprising that this song was Lindsay's favorite. "Cool" people skip the drama, and she's supposed to be cool. She also uses it to deaden feelings of guilt. Of course, if you do something mean, and other people get hurt by her, they should get over it, right? What's their drama all about? The song was also a clue to the fact that she has had great pain in her past, and that she is trying her best to move on from it to the point of burying it all under denial.

 

I must have lived in more old-fashioned times. It makes me wonder, is this really reflective of the issues that face teenagers today?

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

Sam and her friends remind me of the group of girls in the movie Mean Girls that were known as the Plastics.  They are very superficial, not only to those around them but also to themselves.  They all had secrets that were forbidden to be discussed among their group. 

 

Lindsay's first guy she made out with was someone who picked her up while she was visiting her stepbrother at NYU.  Elody's mother is a drunk and Ally has eating issues.  But none of this can be discussed.

 

Sam seems to be a young girl who was on the "outside of the circle" at one point in her life.  Then suddenly Lindsay introduced her to the inner circle.  But I still like to think that there is always hope for someone who used to enjoy the peace and solitude of horseback riding and who used to enjoy singing The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.

 

Kent seems to be a good guy. He remembers how Sam was before she became a memeber of the inner circle.  Sam remebers this relationship too.  Unfortunately, Kent doesn't fit in with the image she is trying to project.

 

 

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

i agree with Facepalm and the others who didn't want to strangle Sam in the first few chapters. Yes, there were some parts when i thought something was out of hand or downright rude, but i could see in her, and the other girls, Elody, Ally, and Lindsay, that it was just all pretended, and that they are/could truly be nice people. Unfortunately some girls are out there do this, afraid to just be themselves and just follow. I saw this a lot in all four of the girls, and saw the change they were capable of, and the one Sam fortunately recieved.

 

 What does Sam's longstanding--although estranged--friendship with Kent tell you about her? Sam's friendship with Kent tells me that once upon a time, she was a genieunly nice person, even though it was at a young age. It also shows a little bit of hope that she isn't completely horrible or self-involved, if she meant that much to Kent.

 

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? Not really. Like someone said earlier and what Sam thought, everyone would just think she is crazy and put her in some institution. On the other hand, I think she could have told Kent, someone who isn't out to get her and truly cares about her, no matter how crazy she might be. She probably still felt somewhere deep down that their close friendship from years ago can't be completely gone and ruined, and that he is trustworthy. 

----------------------------------------------
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aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008

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

In these first two chapters, I find myself disliking Sam's actions, especially shoving Juliet at the party, but I don't necessarily dislike Sam herself. I think she has the potential there to be a good person, but her choice of friends makes that hard to do. In Sam's eyes, she either keeps her "mean girl" friends and picks on other people, or if she loses them, she runs the risk of the popular group picking on her. I don't agree with this way of thinking, but I'm hoping as we get farther into the book we will start to see things change for the better.

 

To me, Sam doesn't really seem to fit in with friends perfectly. While they all genuinely seem mean-spirited, Sam almost seems like she is putting on a front, picking on others so she will receive her friends approval and get to remain popular.

 

I don't think any of these girls is perfect. On pages 106-107, Sam talks about all the things her and her friends don't talk to each other about. How Lindsay's "first" was a guy she she met at her step-brother's party. How they can't go to Elody's house after 5, because her mother will be home, drunk. How Ally never eats more than a quarter of what's on her plate, but she loves to cook. Or how, the joke Lindsay made up about Sam: "What's red and white and weird all over? Sam Kingston!" followed Sam around for years. All these girls have skeletons in their closets and choose to pick on others before they have a chance to picked on.

 

Just from the title of the song, "No More Drama", I think it is a joke that Lindsay proclaims this her song. She creates her own drama wherever she goes.

 

I'm not sure there is anyone that Sam could confide in about what's happening to her at this point. If she were to tell someone, they would probably think she was crazy!

 

April
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Erin_H
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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?

 

I agree with everyone who has said that Sam is a self-centered follower. But as I read through the first two chapters something about Sam seem different. Something I was having trouble putting my finger on. What I think is nagging me about her is the fact that she is self-aware. As she is explaining the popularity that surrounds herself and her friends she also seems to know that her popularity is bred from fear. Even if she doesn't come right out and say it I think Sam knows that her classmates don't necessarily like her and her little group of friends. They're more afraid of Sam and her group not liking them and what the outcome of that might be. And even though Sam knows this she is okay with that because in her mind she has her "true" friends and the fear of her classmates pretty much gets her whatever she wants and makes her high school life easy.

 

It seems to me that Sam has a pretty normal family. She has a sister who she thinks is annoying and parents she tolerates. But for the most part her family life takes a backseat to her social life.

 

Something that surprised me about Sam is that she wasn't always popular. You would think that this would make her a little bit more sympathetic but it doesn't. It does help to fuel her excuse as to why she acts the way that she does. In her mind this is what high school is like all over the world and that it's nothing personal. She feels she's paid her dues and now it's someone elses turn. I also think that the fact that she wasn't always popular gives us as readers a little spark of hope. Hope that she won't be a completely unlikable character.

 

*Erin*

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

What kind of person is Sam?

I think that Sam has given up all of her individuality to be like the 'popular' girls so she will fit in and be accepted.  I also think that she makes a lot of her decisions based on what the other girls in her crowd will think of her not on what she thinks she should do, sort of the path of least resistance.

 

 Do we learn anything surprising about her as these first two chapters progress?

I think one of the things that struck me as interesting is that in the beginning Sam was on the other side of popular and knows how that feels. She knows how it feels to be treated poorly by people who think they are superior to you. Yet, she still treats others who are not in the popular crowd with little or no regard.  She can be mean to people because that is what would be expected by her friends.

 

I think that Sam also knows that she is giving up something of herself by following the crowd, like having sex so she wont be the last virgin in her group when she is really talking herself into being in love with Rob. She's not really sure that she is in love with him completely.

 

One thing that is really clear is that these girls have no empathy for others and peoples differences. I think this speaks well of what is going on in our country in general. I think that there is a spark of hope as Sam is talking about how she doesn't know why Lindsay hates Juliet and wants to question her but doesn't pursue the subject when her friends have moved on to another topic. She wont let her friends see her empathy but it is buried deep inside. 

 

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

I think that this song fits her perfectly. I think that Lindsay acts the way she does because she is the most insecure of all the girls about who she is and where she fits into the picture. She is the one who has to keep you down so she can always be better, be number one, be on top. She is so about the drama all the time.

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

I think that the fact that Sam has had this friend for so long gives us a spark of hope that she is a little deeper that the other girls. She is still friends, although not best buddies, with Kent. She has not forgotten where she came from. Although, she is willing to not invest in this relationship because Kent does not fit inside the popular circle and because he is eccentric. I think that this shows that Sam is very much a follower to be sure she stays in the popular crowd.

 

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 think that if Sam would let Kent in, that he would be a true friend, no matter what was going on or how much of a 'freak' you were. I know that Sam cannot do that at this point in the book but if I were Sam, I would trust someone like Kent who knew me before I was 'popular' and still liked me the way I was then. After all, the were best friends at one time.