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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Final Thoughts:

What will stay with you most about Before I Fall? Is there one image or passage, especially?

 

Do you have any final thoughts we haven't covered in our discussions to share with the group?

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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009

Re: Final Thoughts:

Before I Fall has made me think about what our actions can cause. Not just for me, but for those around me. Even though the book is in a certain part of Sams life, I think this applies throughout our lives. Not just reflecting on our past, but how we will do something next time.

pen21

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JennM14
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
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Re: Final Thoughts:

There are a few things that have really stuck with me since I finished this book...

 

  • The fact that no matter how hard she tried she couldn't 'fix' things...makes me think about really trying to do things right the first time AND think about how somethings are fated to happen no matter what.  Maybe we don't always know what the right thing is and all we can do is our best.

 

  • I am left dwelling on the HighSchool popularity/social dynamic as well....struggling to be the popular girl even if you have to become someone else, change who you really are, date a guy you don't really even like, treat others badly.   Or being the one who isn't popular, who is picked on, bullied, made to feel like you're not worth anything just so others can feel better about themselves. Seeing how one event, one decision could alter your standing.   I have a 10 year old daughter and an 8 year old son, this book really made me think about what they will be facing as they grow up.

 

I am really glad to have had the opportunity to read and discuss this book - Thanks!!

 

  

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Zia01
Posts: 187
Registered: ‎08-08-2009

Re: Final Thoughts:

What will stay with you most about Before I Fall? Is there one image or passage, especially?

 

The last day when Sam gives Izzy her necklace. Something about her acceptance strikes a chord with me and has stuck with me since I finished reading the book.

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jb70
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎07-06-2009
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Re: Final Thoughts:

We don't always consider the ripple effects of our actions on others.  How their teasing and taunting of Juliet which seemed harmless on their end was doing her read harm on the inside.  You can't always see the affects of your words or actions on the inside of another person.  Think about how a sentence uttered by someone, maybe even years ago, can stick with you in a good way or a bad way.  It might be an incident the other person doesn't even remember but made a big impact on you.  You never know when you are making a big impact so being on your best behavior and treating others with care and respect should be a part of our lives everyday, whether that person is a friend or a stranger.  Contrary to the common saying, word or names can hurt and we should teach our children accordingly.

http://bookbookseverywhere.blogspot.com/
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Final Thoughts:

I think my favorite line is the one I used to open my book review - "I suppose that's the secret, if you're ever wishing for things to go back to the way they were. You just have to look up." Sam's thoughts - pg. 284  Any time we are looking down, we miss something and lessen the enjoyment in our lives. I think Sam finally got by the end of the book, and on her last day, tried to leave some of that lesson behind.  Keep looking up!

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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CharlieG31
Posts: 257
Registered: ‎01-06-2010

Re: Final Thoughts:

I think that what will stay the most with me was the reflection of knowing when something will be your last thing. When Sam makes a reflection about your last candy, your last chocolate and how sometimes we take everything for granted and never get the chance to appreciate things as they are because we believe we will have a certain thing tomorrow, and then again reflects about how awful life would be if we knew when would our last day be and how we would try to hold on no matter what which is why there are like pros and cons of knowing when you will die. 

 

From the moment I got to the end of this book, I realized that every moment in time is valuable and that we must not take anything for granted, enjoy every moment and never ever give something for certain, just enjoy the moment and live that moment with joy and happiness. Never take any situation for granted, never be mean to people and most importantly remember you are mortal.

"The questions are more essential than the answers."
Karl Theodor Jaspers

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historygirl2008AS
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎02-04-2010
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Re: Final Thoughts:

The thing that will stay with me the most is the ending when Sam pushes Juliet out of the way and dies instead that ending made me cry so much I will always remember it.

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SpunkiiReader
Posts: 447
Registered: ‎05-08-2009
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Re: Final Thoughts:

What stuck with me is pretty much the same as most every one else, that we need to pay better attention on what we say and do to others. You never know what that person is going through already and you don't want to add to their despair. And what you think is a harmless joke or teasing could turn into the thing that that person dwells on for the rest of their life. And to also not take what others say or do so literally, or to dwell on it ourselves because they probably didn't mean it the way we took it.

 

I loved Sam's final Feb 12th, her giving Izzy her necklace so that Izzy will have a great last memory of her older sister, her spending the time with Kent and letting him know that he's the one for her. I also liked the little things like giving Katie the book and trying to keep Sarah from being late even though in the end she still was since she stopped at Starbucks. I think she left on a great day.

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stopper19
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Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Final Thoughts:

The thing that will stay with me the most after reading Before I Fall is the way Sam gave up her life for someone else. Even though it kind of made me mad at first I saw that she did it knowing that she was going to die but was going to give someone else life. All of her life Sam was focuses on herself and nothing else. It was all about her image and how she acted. Know she will be known as "the popular girl who saved the crazy girl" but she did it because she knew that it was the right thing to do. I will also remember how Sam was falling in love with Kent. I loved the character of Kent so much and it made the book so much more interesting. Their relationship showed how much Sam really changed from the beginning of the book to the end. This was a really good book :smileyhappy:

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Rebz
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: Final Thoughts:

Before I Fall has definitely given me a new outlook. It reminds me to appreciate my life and the life of those around me and not to take myself and others  so seriously. It reminded me how much pain my actions can cause others and that pain imposed on me by others is not necessarily for the sake of causing pain, sometimes it stems from someone else's insecurities and not to take it to heart.

-Becca
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alexia561
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Final Thoughts:

Several things have stayed with me since finishing this book:  the ripple effect and Sam's relationship with Izzy. It really reminded me how our words and actions may have a greater effect on people than we realize. And I loved it when she gave Izzy her necklace!

 

It's been a long time since a book touched me so deeply that I just sat for awhile after the last page, to sort of savor it and let it all sink in. Great book! :smileyhappy:

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Tenrbe
Posts: 126
Registered: ‎11-05-2009

Re: Final Thoughts:

I think there's something to be said about these characters and their behaviors. It reflects our culture in a lot of ways. Young people these days grow up thinking that they'll be happy if they buy this, or if they look like that, or if they were friends with him/her. I think this book shows that even when you have all these things, deep down it's all just for show and doesn't really mean anything. They wanted these things because it's what society tells them they want.

 

I also think teenagers all have some sort of an invincibility complex. They think that can do all these wreckless things and nothing bad could ever happen to them (In the book when Lindsey drinks and drives). Because of this, they take their lives for granted and only think about today and now. They assume tomorrow will always be there and don't appreciate the good moments.

 

For me, this book did a really good job of showcasing this. When Sam accepts the fact that she's going to die, there's that one chapter when she spends the whole day with her family and her little sister. She says that that day was "one of the best. Close to perfect, even though nothing special happened." This was my turning point for Sam and when I started to like her because she realized that all those superficial things in life don't matter and that just by appreciating the simple things, like spending the day with your family, can be one of the best days of your life.

 

 

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shannonbh
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎09-20-2008
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Re: Final Thoughts:

I think the imagery in the last chapter - the beginning of the last day - with Sam flying - experiencing ultimate peace.  Knowing exactly what she needed to do.  And then Juliet bending over her - really powerful imagery.  Really beautiful scenes.  So thoroughly enjoyed this read and will be watching Lauren Oliver's career!

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Annette94
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: Final Thoughts:

What will stay with you most about Before I Fall? Is there one image or passage, especially?

All of the times that she with Kent. They really made an impact. <3           Sam<3Kent4ever!

 

Do you have any final thoughts we haven't covered in our discussions to share with the group?

I hated how it ended. The res tis up to you to find out?? What the hell is that?

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Annette94
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Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: Final Thoughts:

That part made me cry!!! :'(

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Pepergirl
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Registered: ‎01-28-2008
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Re: Final Thoughts:

I am so sorry I missed this dicussion.  I read the book as soon as it arrived and then got busy and wasn't around to discuss.

 

But, for this last question, the thing that remains with me is taht everything we do affects others, whether we think it does or not.  Our society is so focused on "me, me, me" and for teens, it is even worse.  Taking time to put others first generally results in a better experience/life for everyone.  We are all happier that way.  I think Sam found at the end that by doing something for someone else, she ended up feeling much better about herself.

 

On another note, I think this book was more appropriate for young adults rather than teens.  Even though the story was about a high school teen, I felt that the way drinking, sex, etc. were treated (just matter of a fact rather than poor decisions) was not something I want my teen daughter to think is okay.  Although I like the end lesson, and think she could benefit from that, the way it is presented is a bit too mature.

 

Thanks for the opportunity to read this thought provoking novel.

 

 

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ClaudiaLuce
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎01-31-2008

Re: Final Thoughts:

I wish I could have all my 7th graders read this book!! I think it would make a terrific impact on them. If they could only realize what they say and do to others has this kind of impact on the other person, perhaps they would stop and think before they do some of the things they do!

 

As soon as this book is published, I plan on buying half a dozen copies to place in my middle school's library.  In this small way, I hope that I can open some of the kids' eyes into what is taking place around them with peer pressure, bullying, and the other forms of social pressures they face everyday!

 

I really hope this novel becomes required reading in some of our local high schools!

 

Claudia

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." -
-- Sir Richard Steele
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Bonnie_W
Posts: 102
Registered: ‎12-24-2009
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Re: Final Thoughts:

 

There are spoilers here for anyone who still hasn't finished :smileyhappy:

Zia01 wrote:

What will stay with you most about Before I Fall? Is there one image or passage, especially?

 

The last day when Sam gives Izzy her necklace. Something about her acceptance strikes a chord with me and has stuck with me since I finished reading the book.


 

 

This was the passage most powerful to me as well.  You can tell just in how Sam treats her sister how much she has changed as a person.  I think, also, this generous action will mean a *lot* to Izzy in the years to come.

 

Lauren Oliver has said she wants us to see how Sam changes despite not continuing to live on and that it was one of the fundamental things she wanted to happen in the book.  I feel that this moment with Izzy truly showcased all that Sam has gone through because the old Sam would have never given her younger sister her cherished necklace from her grandmother.  

 

I also really appreciate the way Lauren brought us full-circle, since Sam reflects on the necklace earlier in the novel as well.  Also, the relationship between Izzy and Sam is brought to light on the very first page of Chapter One when opening the book which, to me, makes this nuance even more important.  Despite barely being in the book, Izzy is a very instrumental character in showing us the ways Sam has changed as a human being.

http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com for ideas on what to read next!
(Last author interviewed: Michelle Madow; Last book reviewed: CADET OF TILDOR; Giving away: CADET OF TILDOR until Jan 31! :smileyhappy:
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Final Thoughts:

This book has the power to impact behavior if the right people read and discuss it.