Ok – you know the drill. The Spoiler page is for those who have read the book and want to talk freely about the book without worry of giving away anything for those who have yet to read the book.
This is not a review – this is just thoughts and feelings and “wonderisms” about the book, Before I Fall.
SO – now that this is covered…. let’s begin.
I am probably going to need help starting this conversation because my head is kind of stuck around one part that really spoke to me. (I just finished the book a couple of hours ago as I write this). In the end when she is hugging her little sister for the last time, or thinking about the last words she says to her parents…. and talks about the last times – like the last ice cream cone… the last kiss…. and how things would change if we knew these were lasts…
Seriously this took my breath away. I have had a lot of loss in my life and through the years I have turned the scenarios involving these events through the ringer. I thought I had covered everything in my grief and this thought about the lasts caught me off guard. I hadn’t thought about that.
In my mom’s case – I have thought about her last time in the house. How she left for work that day having no idea that she would never return. But I had not thought about her last meal…. her last moment of sheer happiness…
Sorry. I really did not mean to make this personal but I hit a vein here and I am running with it. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just my thoughts.
My point, I believe is, is that in life we do not know. When they say we should live each day like it is out last – we really should. We should always end conversations kindly. We should enjoy that ice cream cone and not hurry through it… and we should make that phone call we know we need to make… but dread doing it.
This is a big part of what I pulled out of the book. I hope to interview author Lauren Oliver. I want to ask her if this was the plan in the book, to make up think about our own lives and decisions… and while Sam had opportunities to make it right, when will we make things right?
Ok – take this page any direction you want. Talk about what you liked or did not like about the book. What did you think of Juliet? Do you think there was a way to save her – or was that just something we need to accept is that everyone can not be saved. And in the end – was she? I was not entirely sure isf Juliet was saved and Sam died or if they both died….
I didn’t like the story line with the teacher. I thought it went too far. I think Sam could have done what she did – this was a great example of her letting go – feeling invincible, but I think Mr. Daimler should have walked away. I feel that gave an acceptance to this behavior in this YA book that was too much. Your thoughts?
July 6, 2010: UPDATE: After chatting with Lauren Oliver here is the question I asked her about the books ending and her answer:
***This question goes on my spoiler page only – I am curious to know, does Samantha die in the end and Juliet live? Do you have any images beyond the book ending of Juliet and what you believe happens her beyond the pages of the book?
Lauren: Well, in my mind, Sam dies at the start of the book; she learns over the course of the novel that although there are many things she can change around the conditions of her death, and in the moments that precede it, that is the one ultimate fact, the insurmountable barrier. And I do think it’s important for teens—and adults, for that matter—to understand that there are some things in life, some bad decisions and missteps, that can simply never be reversed. Life is not a video game, and there is no reset button.
And yes, Juliet lives. I have many ideas about what happens to all of the characters after the conclusion of the book, but I prefer not to share them. One of the things I like best about books is that they ultimately belong to the readers as much as they do to the writer; so I’ll leave it up to you to imagine a world for Juliet and the others post-book!