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Inspired Correspondent
jb70
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎07-06-2009
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Re: The Last Day

I keep wondering if she continues to change things what her friends and family will remember about her for her last day.  If you knew you were going to die wouldn't you want your families last memory of you to be a goodone?  Not of you fighting with them or lying to them but for them to know that you loved them?

http://bookbookseverywhere.blogspot.com/
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ylin0621
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
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Re: The Last Day

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?

I honestly was hoping that Sam didn't have to do. I'm more of a happily ever after person. I was just waiting for that moment, the impact of when would Sam die. 

 

What does the conversation about "life flashing before your eyes" just before death tell you about each of the friends in the car?

Their personality. How fickle they are, how young their lives are.

 

Why do you think Sam remembers the scene with Vicky Hallinan?

My memory fails me right now--I can't seem to recall  Vicky....

 

What are the subtle and not-so-subtle changes from the fist Friday February 12, to the second one? Which of those changes feel most significant to you?

The parking lot incident. The Chinese food scene. Kent and Rob. Thankfully her opinion of Rob slowly shifts.

 

What change do you think would make a difference in how the day ends? (Please guard against spoilers!)

Her fight with Lindsay--definitely.

Frequent Contributor
Leeza14
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎12-01-2009
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Re: The Last Day

I am having a hard time getting into this book (just being honest).  It seems so superficial and at times a little hard to buy.  I'm going to stick with it, though, as I said I would when I signed up for the book.  Someone earlier mentioned reading this from the perspective of a parent and that some things right off the bat were a bit disturbing.  I am trying hard to come at it as I would have if I were still a teenager reading this, but it's hard to completely lose my parent role perspective.  I do read a lot of young adult lit, but this one so far just isn't holding my attention enough to delve in without putting it down.  I'll read more today and hope that changes.

 

I'm in the "second day," and my hope is that the changes she makes in her day start becoming bigger and more profound.  That could save the book in my eyes.

Correspondent
GreenFairyLV
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎06-23-2009
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Re: The Last Day

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?

  None really.  You know the beginning and the ending, it's the middle where everything gets explained.

 

 

Why do you think Sam remembers the scene with Vicky Hallinan?

Maybe she is seeing who she really is.  Just a mean hateful person.

 

What are the subtle and not-so-subtle changes from the fist Friday February 12,  to the second one?

Sarah talking about swimming in the semifinals.

 

Which of those changes feel most significant to you? What change do you think would make a difference in how the day ends? (Please guard against spoilers!)

Sarah being on the swim team and not getting detention so she can compete in the semi finals could have changed Sarah's whole future and probably for the better.

Contributor
lilxtwinkies
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-29-2009
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Re: The Last Day

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?

Knowing the Sam is going to die didn't really make any difference to me in the beginning of the book because I didn't really care for her much. But as the story went on and she found herself changing, it make me sad that she was going to have to die. I kept wishing somehow things could have changed, and she could have been saved as well.

 

What does the conversation about "life flashing before your eyes" just before death tell you about each of the friends in the car?

I think their conversation about "life flashing before you eyes" probably shows us what each of the girls in the car are really thinking about deep down inside. It seems like a conversation where they don't need to hide their true selves and get a chance to talk honestly about what they believed was their most important part in their lives.

 

Why do you think Sam remembers the scene with Vicky Hallinan?

I think she remembers Vicky because it just goes to show although Sam tries to fit in with the popular crowd and she bullys others, deep down inside it shows that she really feels guilty and regrets what she's done. This is why she remembers the scene with Vicky.

 

What are the subtle and not-so-subtle changes from the fist Friday February 12,  to the second one?

The parking spot incident  with Sarah since she held Lindsay back.

 

Contributor
Galleysmith
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎07-08-2009
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Re: The Last Day

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?
Knowing Sam is going to die this early on brings with it a broader sense of curiosity.  We aren't immediately told how it is she actually dies (though we can make assumptions based on smaller clues like the car, the light, the fire, etc) so that is part of the intrigue of the further story.  What is most interesting and certainly compelling, is the Groundhog Day type of existence that is initiated as a result.  That keeps the reader on their toes and allows us to question everything we know it also allows us to see her grow and change and ultimately we have the opportunity to learn and experience with her.


What are the subtle and not-so-subtle changes from the fist Friday February 12,  to the second one?
With each replay of the day we see Sam moving closer to realization that what she's prioritized in life isn't as valuable as she originally thought.  We see changes in all of her relationships, we see her wishing for more and different changes. We also see her beginning to wonder if she can actually change the eventuality of her death.

Frequent Contributor
Sheltiemama
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎06-01-2009
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Re: The Last Day

Knowing that Sam is going to die, even knowing that she's not a nice person at first, makes me think what a waste it is when someone dies so young.

 

You see what's important to each of the girls, though as adults we know just how drastically that changes as we grow older. It highlights just how small their worlds really are at that age.

 

Sam remembers the scene with Vicky because she wasn't popular then, either. She remembers something important, something that hurt someone.

 

I think the scene with Juliet entering the party again is the most significant. And for the love of God, Sam, don't get in Lindsey's car again!

Contributor
Megtall
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎12-10-2009
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Re: The Last Day

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?

I was genuinely hoping that if Sam genuinely changed and tried to set things right that she would be given a second chance to live.  But, it was a strange way to start a book--knowing that the main character is going to die.  During the first chapter, I thought about giving up reading this book because I disliked Sam so much.  I'm SO glad I stuck with it.  It was definitely one of the best and most memorable YA novels I have ever read (which says a lot because I have read hundreds and hundreds of them). 

 

What does the conversation about "life flashing before your eyes" just before death tell you about each of the friends in the car?

It told me that they all thought death was too far away for any of them to really care about what happens at the time of their deaths.  They were all pre-occupied with other things and really didn't seem to care.

 

What are the subtle and not-so-subtle changes from the first Friday February 12,  to the second one?

The parking situation in the upper lot for sure.  Sam seems more agitated and confused, obviously, as one would tend to be after remembering that she had died.  Sam seems more tentative in her interactions with everyone, best friends and boyfriend included.  She was constantly on the lookout for some sign that others remembered what had happened.  At the same time, however, it's like Sam thinks that things are unchangeable....that she is destined to live the same day.  She doesn't realize that she can change some things not only for herself but possibly for others.

Namaste.
Meg
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parisianrose
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎11-18-2009
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Re: The Last Day

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?

I have read several books that start off with you knowing how the book ends.  It's never bothered me because when the author does that, they effectively present the rest of the story and somehow leave out the 'why' part of the end.  Before I Fall is no different.  I knew Sam was going to die, but after the very first day I wanted to know what she was going to change.  It never really was about her life for me.  I only cared about how she was going to fix everyone else's.

Frequent Contributor
sarah_in_ca
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎09-28-2009
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Re: The Last Day

Knowing that Sam is going to die, as in another novel I read not too long ago, makes me want to continue to read the story because I know the author must have quite a message for the reader.  I really don't know Sam at the beginning, nor how it will happen, but I do want to learn the circumstances and how it must affect the people in her life.

 

The conversation about death among the girls in the car indicates to me that they are immature, self-centered and quite afraid to state their true feelings.

Distinguished Wordsmith
Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: The Last Day

Like many of the posts already, I was not bothered by the fact that I knew Sam would die.  Despite this, I did still harbor a small glimmer of hope that Sam could change enough to change her death as well.  When an author such as Lauren builds the "puzzle" from the end backward (knowing the outcome before all of the details) it makes the writing very unique and intriguing.  The events and details become more noticeable and important, and I found myself slowing down to absorb the moments leading up to the end result. 

 

Knowing that Sam would relive Friday the 12th over 7 times from the very beginning, made me curious as to how Lauren would "pull this off" and yet, keep the reader's interest.  I really didn't want to read the exact same thing 7 times, but wasn't sure as to how the changes would be portrayed.  Lauren did a great job between day 1 and day 2, and I wasn't surprised that Sam was confused about being dead or alive.  Who wouldn't be?  Things like that just don't happen!  

 

Should we add eating to the list of things we shouldn't do while driving??

 

 

 

"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
Contributor
horsefreak13
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: The Last Day

Knowing that Sam is going to die is kind of creepy but really interesting at the same time. I actually like how the author did this because it makes it more unique. I also like how Sam is changing each chapter for better and worse. It makes the story more appealing to read.

Frequent Contributor
GReba
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎07-24-2009
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Re: The Last Day

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?  Actually this was the first book of this nature I have read so  it didn't effect me so much as make me curious....

 

What does the conversation about "life flashing before your eyes" just before death tell you about each of the friends in the car?  They've never really given it any serious thought...it was just a passing comment and because (as many teens think at times) they were invicible, it simply didn't matter.

 

Why do you think Sam remembers the scene with Vicky Hallinan?  Probably because it was a low point for her....it was a regret.

 

What are the subtle and not-so-subtle changes from the first Friday February 12,  to the second one?  Well, since it was still early in the book, there weren't too many differences.  Mainly, I would say Sam was a little more aware of what was going on around her, but too caught up in the deja vu of it all to really enact any change or understand what was happening.

 

Which of those changes feel most significant to you? What change do you think would make a difference in how the day ends? (Please guard against spoilers!)  I'm not certain that a little change could have made the day end entirely different.  I think that the changes needed would have taken some time and by books end, Sam had done all she could do to make it "right".

 

By the way, our first official Friday during the discussion is Friday February 12th. Can we all promise not to drink and drive, and not to fight over ipods in the car?  Yes...I second that notion.

Contributor
aliciainlove
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the...

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?

 

In all honesty, I was holding out for Sam to live at the end. It felt so unresolved leaving it so open. I guess I can understand the impact that was supposed to be left, but the last line felt contrived. The transformation from mean girl to selfless sacrifice was beautiful and messy up until the very end, with Sam fighting it the entire way through.

 

Some of the relationships were predictable, but I can honestly say that I didn't see Juliet killing herself, or it being the whole reason. Something that really stood out to me was when she was telling sam she wasn't afraid anymore, that she wasn't afraid of death. This was probably the most purest and truest statement of the entire book, but what was left unsaid, but still had a powerful affect on me was that I couldn't stop thinking....Juliet was afraid of life...just like everybody else. This realization was the lynchpin for me, not Sam's final act.

 

Now this is where I have a problem. Suicide, no matter how driven to it someone might be, is the single most selfish act a person can commit. As traumatized and miserable as Juliet was, she still had this choice. I get that the story was all about cause, effect, realizing that every action has some kind of reaction, whether it was intended or not. But the fact that Sam had to be the one to die, that Sam was stuck in this loop until she could "save" Juliet, was unfulfilling. Sam, who was just starting to become a better person, the person she should have been, had to just end her life there. Just like that. I guess it just hurts. I mean...she'll always be remembered as the one who saved Juliet, but at the same time...someone who was so bent on killing themselves, I don't see them turning their life around for someone who they previously felt nothing buy hatred from and for. In fact, I think it would make her more depressed, not grateful...especially if she was in such a mental state already that she was committed to dying at her own decision.. It just was unbelievable.. And didn't feel right.

 

As a side note, Lindz crashed her car because she veered off after hitting Juliet, not necessarily because of her drunkeness. She was probably more likely to kill everyone driving sober, anyways. So that really seems like a moot point.

 

I hope that doesn't make me shallow because I've seemed to interpret the book differently from most people...

Distinguished Wordsmith
Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the...

aliciainlove,

 

Differing opinions is what makes a book club so great!  If everyone had the same opinions/interpretations, there would be no need for discussions! 

 

I agree with your opinion on suicide in general, and sadly, my family experienced this when my brother-in-law decided to take his own life.  He left behind three children who loved him and really needed a father, not to mention the rest of the family who felt betrayed and guilty.  It has been 3 years, and my husband still suffers from the guilt that he should have been able to help his brother.  Yes, it is an extremely selfish act!

 

However, I have to disagree with your thoughts regarding Sam and Juliet.  I do believe that Juliet could learn from Sam's ultimate sacrifice (her life for Juliet's) and work to successfully overcome her desire to take her own life.  Yes, Juliet was miserable and hated life and Sam's group, but she might recognize the fact that maybe she judged Sam too harshly.  Juliet obviously needs professional help in order to conquer her "demons."  Maybe Sam's sacrifice will be the catalyst to her seeking that help.  Also, I feel as if Sam accepted her death and realized that whatever she did, the outcome would be the same...she couldn't save herself.

 


aliciainlove wrote:

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?

 

In all honesty, I was holding out for Sam to live at the end. It felt so unresolved leaving it so open. I guess I can understand the impact that was supposed to be left, but the last line felt contrived. The transformation from mean girl to selfless sacrifice was beautiful and messy up until the very end, with Sam fighting it the entire way through.

 

Some of the relationships were predictable, but I can honestly say that I didn't see Juliet killing herself, or it being the whole reason. Something that really stood out to me was when she was telling sam she wasn't afraid anymore, that she wasn't afraid of death. This was probably the most purest and truest statement of the entire book, but what was left unsaid, but still had a powerful affect on me was that I couldn't stop thinking....Juliet was afraid of life...just like everybody else. This realization was the lynchpin for me, not Sam's final act.

 

Now this is where I have a problem. Suicide, no matter how driven to it someone might be, is the single most selfish act a person can commit. As traumatized and miserable as Juliet was, she still had this choice. I get that the story was all about cause, effect, realizing that every action has some kind of reaction, whether it was intended or not. But the fact that Sam had to be the one to die, that Sam was stuck in this loop until she could "save" Juliet, was unfulfilling. Sam, who was just starting to become a better person, the person she should have been, had to just end her life there. Just like that. I guess it just hurts. I mean...she'll always be remembered as the one who saved Juliet, but at the same time...someone who was so bent on killing themselves, I don't see them turning their life around for someone who they previously felt nothing buy hatred from and for. In fact, I think it would make her more depressed, not grateful...especially if she was in such a mental state already that she was committed to dying at her own decision.. It just was unbelievable.. And didn't feel right.

 

As a side note, Lindz crashed her car because she veered off after hitting Juliet, not necessarily because of her drunkeness. She was probably more likely to kill everyone driving sober, anyways. So that really seems like a moot point.

 

I hope that doesn't make me shallow because I've seemed to interpret the book differently from most people...


 

"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
HBT
Inspired Contributor
HBT
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎10-26-2009
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Re: The Last Day

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die?

 

It did not bother me that the book started out with Sam's death. After reading the back of the book we already know she is going to die and relive the day over and over until she fixes what went wrong. What the readers do not know, until the end of the book is if Sam stays dead. Personally I think starting the book with Sam's death was a perfect choice for this book because you were in the action from the start.

Wordsmith
kpatton
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-27-2006
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Re: The Last Day

 

I'm glad to see your comments, even though I am liking this book.  The last FL book ETOW was one I couldn't get into  and didn't know how to post.  When I finally did, people were so understanding.  It does however make it much more difficult to post.  Kathy

Leeza14 wrote:

I am having a hard time getting into this book (just being honest).  It seems so superficial and at times a little hard to buy.  I'm going to stick with it, though, as I said I would when I signed up for the book.  Someone earlier mentioned reading this from the perspective of a parent and that some things right off the bat were a bit disturbing.  I am trying hard to come at it as I would have if I were still a teenager reading this, but it's hard to completely lose my parent role perspective.  I do read a lot of young adult lit, but this one so far just isn't holding my attention enough to delve in without putting it down.  I'll read more today and hope that changes.

 

I'm in the "second day," and my hope is that the changes she makes in her day start becoming bigger and more profound.  That could save the book in my eyes.


 

 

Contributor
reader_of_books
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: The Last Day

What effect does it have on you as a reader to start the story knowing that Sam is going to die? knowing that sam was going to die, automatically made me want to know how/why she died. I was very anxious until I found out.

 

What does the conversation about "life flashing before your eyes" just before death tell you about each of the friends in the car? That they think they are invincible.

 

 Why do you think Sam remembers the scene with Vicky Hallinan? I think to make her more human, to show what kind of a person she was (the bullied who laughed at the others who were bullied), and now is (the bully).

 

What are the subtle and not-so-subtle changes from the fist Friday February 12,  to the second one? Sarah Grundel got the parking spot in Senior Alley and didn't get yelled at by the swim coach

 

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Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: The Last Day

VtCozy wrote:..I am so glad to see both of your posts..EOTW was very intense,as Kathy might agree,and I still think about it .I also  can well understand as a parent myself,during my reading of BIF,I am halfway into Chapter6,no spoilers,I also had to remember what it was like in HS.,the good,the bad and the ugly,then recall my daughters years,she is 25 now,and also try to remove myself from the emotional upheavel. that BIF generates in my head.I have learned,and cried and have have a deep respect for Lauren to be able to write such an important and beautiful book.I think Leeza14,you will ,as the novel deepens,find what you are looking for...If not that's ok too..We are so open and honest here,that is all we can be for The First Look and Lauren.....Susan Vtc
kpatton wrote:

 

I'm glad to see your comments, even though I am liking this book.  The last FL book ETOW was one I couldn't get into  and didn't know how to post.  When I finally did, people were so understanding.  It does however make it much more difficult to post.  Kathy

Leeza14 wrote:

I am having a hard time getting into this book (just being honest).  It seems so superficial and at times a little hard to buy.  I'm going to stick with it, though, as I said I would when I signed up for the book.  Someone earlier mentioned reading this from the perspective of a parent and that some things right off the bat were a bit disturbing.  I am trying hard to come at it as I would have if I were still a teenager reading this, but it's hard to completely lose my parent role perspective.  I do read a lot of young adult lit, but this one so far just isn't holding my attention enough to delve in without putting it down.  I'll read more today and hope that changes.

 

I'm in the "second day," and my hope is that the changes she makes in her day start becoming bigger and more profound.  That could save the book in my eyes.


 

 


 

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Inspired Contributor
gmfuhlman
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Last Day

Zeal,

 

I so agree with you about eating, talking on cell phones and how about the texting while driving. I see this every day when I am driving to school.There are so many young people who are just so self absorbed with their life that they could careless about other people out there on the road. But I notice this more so now that I am back in college and I listen at all of the partying that they do. Now don't get me wrong I party when I was young but not like these young people.

 

Let me also say that it isn't just the young people who are texting, and talking on the cell phone while driving. See people putting makeup on curling their hair and so much more just wanted clear that up.