Before I Fall Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Before I Fall

Samantha Kingston and her friends are at the top of their high school's food chain. They love nothing more than to drink and party and pick on the less fortunate students- like Juliet Sykes. But then comes the night that Sam dies- and wakes up back in the same morning. From there Sam relives the day she dies seven times, in a week long "Groundhog Day" loop. Each day is different, and each one lets Sam learns more about herself, her friends, and the people who surround them. Sam attempts to find a way to save herself, but as she learns more about the events surrounding her death, she might find that there are other lives that need saving as well.
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Best part of story, including ending: The characters! Sam isn't the only one who undergoes some intense and fascinating character development, as each day allows her to learn more and more about her family and friends. We watch the people Sam knows develop from the flat "losers" she once perceived them as into fully realized people. Even Sam's closest friends turn out to have secrets and motivations that Sam herself never suspected. It creates a powerful message about judging others from appearances. That being said, there's a romance subplot that's a little less than stellar- it feels tacked on to the far more interesting stories of Sam and her peers. Even so, the days never become repetitive or uninteresting, and the lengthy book clips along at a fast pace due to all of the fascinating characters and their development.

Best scene in story: There's one day where Sam plays sick and stays home with her mom and little sister. It's a really lovely scene where she expresses how much she loves her family and how upset she is that her death might keep her from ever seeing them again. She's attempting to make up for lost time while she bonds with her sister- who she used to be kind of cold towards. It's just a beautiful scene that fleshes out Sam and what she wants to live for.

Opinion about the main character: Sam is just fantastically written. She and her friends start out as these sort of cruel high school bully characters, but the book then sets out to subvert those cliches and flesh out Sam as a character and a person. She was bullied herself back in middle school, and she's sort of terrified of having to go back to what she once was. Even so, Sam has to face the consequences of what she's done to other people, and the book is comprised of her attempting to atone for some of her past cruelty, as well as discovering the aspects of her life that she really treasures. She's a fantastic character, and the book fully explores who she is and what drives her. Even if she is sort of awful at times, she's wonderfully well developed.

The review of this Book prepared by Rachel a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Before I Fall

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 70%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   sensitive (sigh....) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Time Travel:    -   time repeating itself Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Time Travel story?    -   Yes Story largely takes place in    -   Present (early 21st century)

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen


Earth setting:    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Before I Fall

Lauren Oliver Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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