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vpenning
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎11-03-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I was gratified to see that Sam learned that it was about making amends and about thinking about other people. The message of the book for me was about extending yourself to others, and feeling what they feel.

 

The message about the impact of bullying from the small to the extreme was powerful, and thought provoking. As an educator, it is a book I will recommend for reading lists, and for my co-workers alike.

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bookcrazyme
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

Although just reading the summary on the book jacket indicates that despite Samantha's reliving of her last day seven times, she is still going to die at the end of the novel, I have to admit that all the way until the very very last page I was still holding out hope that she might somehow and miraculously survive, and go on to live her life that she'd worked so hard to amend. A futile hope was what it was... To be honest, I was shocked that after everything she'd been through, she still died. I was filled with a lingering hate for Juliet that was probably unnecessary and uncalled for; I was left with a sense of emptiness and disbelief that Samantha so bravely sacrificed herself for her loved ones; and I felt pity and sadness for those she left behind. This is not the ending that I would have given the novel; I am one for happily-ever-afters, and were it up to me Samantha would not have died. She'd have been able to live her life. After all, I wanted her to see her sister grow up. I wanted her to have her parents' love now that she can see how much they care. I wanted her to have her friends by her side; all of them despite their flaws and weaknesses. I wanted her to have her happily-ever-after with Kent. I wanted her to rise above her previous mistakes and live life with a renewed sense of belonging. But I know that what Lauren Oliver did was right and heavy-impacting and genius. It gave the story the perfect combination of loss and hope and happiness and sorrow. So although it upset me, the ending was nevertheless satisfying. 

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lg4154
Posts: 72
Registered: ‎02-06-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I really thought Sam would pull through and end up with Kent, I guess she did make progress for trying to change the sequence of events, learned from them. I think she finally figured out how wrong she was to pick on Juliet, because the other girls started it. I already knew how the novel was going to end, so no suprises there. Nicely done and a very interesting characters in the book, it is unlike anything I have ever read.

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Tenrbe
Posts: 126
Registered: ‎11-05-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I found the ending to be sad and I wish Sam could have lived. On the last February 12th, Sam finally realized what was important in life. It's not material things, it's not how you look and what people think about you -- it's your family and your true friends. People who love you just as you are. I wish Sam could have lived because she finally learned this, but it was too late.

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tennisgirl3194
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I was hoping for a happy ending throughout the entire novel, but I'm satisfied with this ending because Sam finally allowed herself to like Kent and saved Juliet. I don't think anything really surprises me, and I wouldn't change it because everything I wanted her to do happened and now I see that the ending is better is Sam dies on the  seventh day.

=] =] =]
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Lil_Irish_Lass
Posts: 163
Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I just never fell in love with this book or the characters and didn't experience my usual reader's remorse once I turned the last page. It wasn't a horrible novel, but just one I never fully got in to.

 

Like others have mentioned, the fact that you never know what happens to Juliet (while I recognize that this story was always about Sam) makes it feel as if loose ends were left dangling and never tied up. I like neat endings with full closure.

 

Sure Sam sacrifices herself (in a way) to save Juliet since she knows that she's never going to reach February 13th anyway; but I don't feel like it made up for all of her prior mean girl actions and that her "saving" of Juliet only stopped her from dying that night, it doesn't mean that Juliet would live a happy and long life; perhaps she would choose a more solitary form of committing suicide where she can't be interrupted.

 

Throughout the entire last chapter the phrase "too little, too late" kept repeating in my mind and that sums up Sam's personal growth for me.

 

BIF was ok; but it isn't something I would encourage all of my fellow readers to pick up as a must read.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman." - The Woman in White
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mandd85323
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

Even though I knew that Sam would die, I kept hoping that it would end differently.  I think that is what made the book even better.  This is a good look at how we should treat each other and how even small comments or actions that we think are harmless and won't do any damage may not be received by the other person the same way. 

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mv5ocean
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎12-03-2008
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I was not surprised by the finale of the book at all but in a good way. Following through each and every day and watching the changes Sam makes every opportunity she gets to relive her final day is completely thought provoking. I admired her courage, strength and her recognition of her shortcomings and the desire to change them.

What did strike home with me was how even those she came to thoroughly dislike she went back and revisited the reasons she loved them to begin with and went back to that mindset.

Awesome Book!

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Annette94
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

What, if anything surprises you about Sam's last chapter, and last February 12th? Is this the ending you would have given the novel? Does it upset you or do you find it in any way a satisfying--if not happy--ending?

I pretty much didn't expect that Sam was going to die. I did not find this a happy ending at all! I wanted Sam to LIVE! Not die! :'(

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Annette94
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I'm also a happy ending kind of person, and this ending made me cry. :smileysad:

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LastWord
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel


I agree with L.I.L.'s comment about loose ends. I don't think every book needs a happy ending -- sometimes sad or bittersweet endings are exactly right. I don't think that Sam's death needs to "teach" anyone anything in a preachy kind of way. But it would have been a lot more satisfying if anyone in the book ended up changed for the better, or the wiser, at least. Juliet is alive at least, but no better off, and in fact, probably worse off. As others have suggested, she'll probably end up blamed somehow. The mean girls stay mean. Rob stays clueless. It's a brave ending, but ultimately a cold one. 
Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:

 

Like others have mentioned, the fact that you never know what happens to Juliet (while I recognize that this story was always about Sam) makes it feel as if loose ends were left dangling and never tied up. I like neat endings with full closure.

 

 

 


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GadgetgirlKS
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎02-10-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

Although I knew that she had to die at the end, I was another reader who kept wishing and hoping there would be some type of twist. Many people are questioning what happened to Juliet. While it is left to our imaginations, I would like to take my wishing and hoping and believe Juliet and the other girls bonded after all the trauma.

 

I loved how the author convinced you to dislike a person, but then later convinced you to like them. We all have good and bad qualities and can be protrayed in a good or bad light by our peers. It reminds me to not just take other's opinion on another person, but to independently make my own.

 

The new Costco Magazine came this week and Before I Fall is one of the books that was advertised! This is a great sign of a soon to be very successful book. Good Work!

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sarah_in_ca
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎09-28-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I'm surprised that Sam actually died.  From her first February 12th until her last, she had learned so much about herself and her friends, and had corrected so many mistakes and misinterpretations and misunderstandings, that, well, I thought she'd fixed her "life" enough so she could keep living.  At the end of Groundhog Day, the changes and extra chances allowed a happy ending.  Here it didn't, but perhaps that's because it was a life/death that was at stake.  I was also surprised at how calm and accepting Sam was about the situation, even when she realizes it's her death, she still continues to make everyone ok with what's going to happen.  Oh how Sam will be missed by her family and friends!!

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Paula_Jean
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-24-2009

Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I truly enjoyed this book.  As an adult reader of the book, I kept shaking my head at how many adult situations (with adult consequences) the girls in the story found themselves and how many adults I know act just like these high school kids.

 

I loved how Lauren Oliver changed Sam's heart and actions just a little bit at a time, in slightly different ways, from different motivational places (denial, fear, concern for others) throughout the book.  Change in real life doesn't happen over night.  We find our way a little bit at a time.  By constructing a scenario where the window of time for change was fixed at only one day, Sam was able to make her changes more quickly - but still going through the main cycles of big change that people experience in real life.  It was a much neater/cleaner scenario to show how Sam could change her actions in the course of one day and compare it to the previous days to gauge her learning.

 

I certainly wasn't surprised to find out that Sam didn't survive that last journey through Feb. 12th.  What did surprise me was that I found myself hoping that I would be surprised.  That she would live.

 

I think the novel had to end with Sam's death to make it qualify as a great read.  I do think that Sam found redemption through her considerate actions towards the people she was leaving behind.  If she hadn't changed over the course of her repeating day, we wouldn't have cared that she died - at least not in the same way.    Sam had to learn and also have the finality of death (no backsliding into old behaviors on Feb. 13th or June 15th or some future date for her after she wakes up after a "close call").  Without that clear ending point, I would wonder if the change was "real".  --- which strikes me as an odd thing to have just written, since I suspended disbelief about the repeat of one day -- not too "real" -- but it works for me this way!  :smileyhappy:

 

Great read!

 

 

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drbjaded
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎12-02-2008

Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I was surprised that Sam died.  I thought everyone was going to be ok.  I think everyone would be affected by Sam's death especially since she was getting closer to her family and Kent and the other kids at school.  Her death will be a big blow especially to poor Kent.  He just got to really get into a relationship with her and boom she's gone.  I'm sure there will be guilt for Juliet and teasing from classmates.  I'm not sure if anything will change with Lindsay.  She may hate Juliet even more and make life worse for her in school because she lost her best friend.  I didn't like the abrupt ending.  I at least wanted to read about the funeral or how her friends/family coped with her loss.  What happened with Juliet?  Did Lindsay change her ways?  Things like that.  There don't always have to be happy endings but to end so quick wasn't a good idea.  It turned me off even more. 

"You cannot love life until you live the life you love."
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Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

Throughout the discussions of  Before I Fall, everyone kept referring to the "real life" experiences that the characters and events reminded them of.  Without Sam's death, and the events surrounding her death, the ending would have not done justice to Sam's life and the changes that she was able to accomplish.  "Real life" does not always offer that storybook ending. 

 

Was I hoping for a happy ending?  Yes, like a lot of you, I'm a happy ending kind of person, but in this case, I knew there wasn't going to be one.  And there shouldn't have been one.   

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I hadn't thought much on how her friends would react to Sam's death.

You made some good points here. Kent especially, he is portrayed as such as sincere person in the book. For the type of person, I would think  the death would be very traumatic.

Your post reminded of her little sister. Sam gave her sister her necklace, it is like a link between them after her death.

good post. pen21

 

 

drbjaded wrote:

I was surprised that Sam died.  I thought everyone was going to be ok.  I think everyone would be affected by Sam's death especially since she was getting closer to her family and Kent and the other kids at school.  Her death will be a big blow especially to poor Kent.  He just got to really get into a relationship with her and boom she's gone.  I'm sure there will be guilt for Juliet and teasing from classmates.  I'm not sure if anything will change with Lindsay.  She may hate Juliet even more and make life worse for her in school because she lost her best friend.  I didn't like the abrupt ending.  I at least wanted to read about the funeral or how her friends/family coped with her loss.  What happened with Juliet?  Did Lindsay change her ways?  Things like that.  There don't always have to be happy endings but to end so quick wasn't a good idea.  It turned me off even more. 

 

 

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ClaudiaLuce
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎01-31-2008
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

Once again, my computer is somehow not letting my posts, post!

 

Teaching 7th graders gives me a unique look into teenagers and their views on life, I guess. I really enjoyed this book, because I saw so many present and former students in many of the characters.  How I wish they could realize where they are headed!!

 

I truly hope that Lauren Oliver writes a sequel to this book explaining the impact that Sam's death has on the other characters' lives.  I think that would be a wonderful follow up, especially for the teens in the audience. 

 

I did feel that the ending to the book was appropriate.  Sam had to change her life - although it had to be done at a pace that both she, and we, could accept - so she would not be condemned for eternity. I loved the gradual changes she made and the impact that she had on others.  I still feel that we have not seen all the changes she created, because many of those would have been most profoundly felt after her death.  The void that her loss creates is the real catalyst for change in the others.

 

I would love for my 7th graders to read this book, but feel that the drinking and smoking is a bit much for them.  I do intend to purchase several copies of this book for my local high school, however!

 

Claudia

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." -
-- Sir Richard Steele
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reader_of_books
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

i wasn't at all surprised with the last chapter, until sam saved juliet. i never thought of it as suicide until it was mentioned here, but now i can see  it. i still think, however, that at that point sam had accepted the fact she was going to die  and that if she couldnt save herself, she could at least save juliet. i'm glad she did that and it leaves me wondering what will happen to juliet in the future (possible sequel?). even though it sounds kind of mean, i'm glad sam died. it would have been too cheesey if she had lived, and i'm not convinced that she wouldn't morph back into her old self over time.

 

i'm glad i read this book because i probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise. i think it has a lot of good lessons in it and that everyone could take something from reading it.

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Lovez-to-Read
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎11-25-2009
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Re: Before I Fall, Last Chapter and Whole Novel

I loved the book! It helped me because i was supposed to be moving schools and this taught me that all we have to do is move on and live life as it passes by. The irony was that i didnt end up moving, but this helped me a lot.

 

I had to reread the last chapter because i was like WHAT when she was the one that dies. I started thinking about the other characters and how her die-ing would effect them. When i started reading i would only read books like this, life lesson books. I started reading Y.A. romance and stayed away from life lessons. I would feel a lot of pressure if i was the one to choose the ending of the novel. I would have given it a 'fairy tale ending' but not giving it one was better. I think it wasnt a happy ending, because i started to think on how they might bug juliet about Sam's death.