Before I Fall

by

Lauren Oliver

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Ally Harris Character Analysis

Ally is a member of Sam Kingston’s core group of friends. Sweet, lovesick, and, like Sam, still a virgin, Ally engages in the cruel behaviors she sees her friends and classmates perpetrate against one another in hopes of maintaining the social capital she has. Ally is fanciful and idealistic, often appearing to be the dreamer of the group (she muses aloud about chaos theory: the idea that a butterfly’s wings flapping in South America could create a thunderstorm in Tulsa, or vice versa, unknowingly raising questions of fate, chance, and inevitability in Sam) but hides behind a cruel, defensive exterior. Notably, she is the first one to throw a drink at Juliet Sykes at Kent McFuller’s Cupid Day party, and is often the first to warn the group that Juliet is approaching in the cafeteria or in the halls at school by singing The Talking Heads’ popular song “Psycho Killer” whenever she comes near. Ally’s character most deeply ties in with themes of popularity, status, and social capital, as well as cruelty and loyalty.

Ally Harris Quotes in Before I Fall

The Before I Fall quotes below are all either spoken by Ally Harris or refer to Ally Harris. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Before I Fall published in 2010.
Chapter 2  Quotes

Lindsay, Ally, Elody and I are as close as you can be, but there are still some things we never talk about. For example, even though Lindsay says Patrick is her first and only, this isn’t technically true. Technically, her first was a guy she met at a party when she was visiting her stepbrother at NYU. They smoked pot, split a six-pack, and had sex, and he never knew she hadn’t done it before. We don’t talk about that. We don’t talk about the fact that we can never hang out at Elody’s house after five o’clock because her mother will be home, and drunk. We don’t talk about the fact that Ally never eats more than a quarter of what’s on her plate, even though she’s obsessed with cooking and watches the Food Network for hours on end. We don’t talk about the joke that for years trailed me down hallways, into classrooms, and on the bus, that wove its way into my dreams: “What’s red and white and weird all over? Sam Kingston!” And we definitely don’t talk about the fact that Lindsay was the one who made it up. A good friend keeps secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.

Related Characters: Samantha Kingston (speaker), Lindsay Edgecombe, Elody, Ally Harris, Patrick
Page Number: 106-107
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

Ally takes a sip of the vodka she’s holding, then winces. “Lindsay was freaking out. I told you, she was really upset.”

“It's true though, isn't it? What I said.”

“It doesn't matter if it’s true.” Ally shakes her head. “She's Lindsay. She's ours. We're each other's, you know?”

I’ve never thought of Ally as smart, but this is probably the smartest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

Related Characters: Samantha Kingston (speaker), Ally Harris (speaker), Lindsay Edgecombe
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Before I Fall LitChart as a printable PDF.
Before I Fall PDF

Ally Harris Character Timeline in Before I Fall

The timeline below shows where the character Ally Harris appears in Before I Fall. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
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Popularity, Status, and Social Capital Theme Icon
...as well as her drunken antics and daily pranks with her friends Lindsay, Elody, and Ally. Before she died, however, Sam thought only of one thing, of one person: Vicky Hallinan. (full context)
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...the party they’d been at. Sam was sharing her “greatest hits” theory while Elody and Ally fought about the music playing in the car. Suddenly, there was a flash of white... (full context)
Chapter 1 
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...a car—a silver Range Rover. Lindsay is the only one of Sam’s friends other than Ally whose car actually belongs to her. Sam sometimes borrows her mother’s reasonable, mid-size sedan, and... (full context)
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...so that Lindsay and Elody will stop teasing her. Sam is grateful that their friend Ally is still a virgin, so Sam will escape being the last virgin in their friend... (full context)
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Sam joins Ally at their favorite table, and they compare rose bouquets—each of them has received nine so... (full context)
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Cruelty and Loyalty in Friendship and Love Theme Icon
Throughout her conversation with Ally, Sam has been watching Rob come closer and closer out of the corner of her... (full context)
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...roses. As the girls tease her about having slept with people to get the roses, Ally sees something over Sam’s shoulder and starts singing a Talking Heads song: “Psycho killer, qu’est-ce... (full context)
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...cafeteria, Lindsay wonders aloud if Juliet received her Valogram rose from the four of them. Ally says that she did—she herself was sitting right behind Juliet in biology when she got... (full context)
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Ally starts talking about how Lindsay’s taking the parking space has now affected Sarah’s life, and... (full context)
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...who’d originally brought the tampons with her. After that day, Lindsay and Sam were best friends—Ally and Elody joined their group over the next couple years, and soon the four were... (full context)
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After school, the four girls all go to Ally’s house. When they were younger, the girls used to stay in, order Chinese, and watch... (full context)
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...far back in the woods, and as the girls drive down the long twisting driveway, Ally says aloud that “This is how horror movies start.” The drive, however, is familiar to... (full context)
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Ally approaches Sam and Rob, telling them to “get a room.” Rob goes off to refill... (full context)
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By the time Ally and Sam get to Lindsay and Patrick, the two of them have made up. Elody... (full context)
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...than the fact that she has shown up, at last, to a high-school party. As Ally, Elody, and Lindsay notice that Juliet is there, Sam observes that Lindsay “goes pale” and... (full context)
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...Lindsay, looks her in the eye, and calls her a bitch. Juliet then turns on Ally, Elody, and even Sam, calling them all bitches. Lindsay leans in toward Juliet and tells... (full context)
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The party begins to wind down after about half an hour. Sam leaves with Elody, Ally, and Lindsay; on the way out, they see couples drunkenly making out in corners and... (full context)
Chapter 2 
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Feeling shaken up, Sam ducks into a bathroom, where Ally is waiting for her. Sam goes into a stall for some privacy, but Ally wants... (full context)
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That evening, at Ally’s, Sam and Lindsay lie on Ally’s bed. Sam has had four shots of vodka and... (full context)
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...never talked about among their friend group—just like the girls don’t discuss Elody’s alcoholic mother, Ally’s eating disorder, or the fact that Lindsay was the one who made up the cruel... (full context)
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...disappointed and suddenly feels very alone—she wonders whether she has really gone insane. Elody and Ally burst back into the bedroom and ask whether it’s time to go to the party.... (full context)
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...again, Juliet approaches Lindsay and calls her a bitch. One by one, she calls Elody, Ally, and Sam bitches, too. The events of the previous night repeat themselves—everyone at the party... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...Juliet so much. Lindsay deflects the question, though, and Sam doesn’t pursue it any further. Ally asks despairingly whether their group is really going to stay in tonight. Everyone looks to... (full context)
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...her locker to grab her Spanish textbook, and is walking down the hall texting Elody, Ally, and Lindsay when she runs into Lauren Lornet and drops her phone on the ground.... (full context)
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Lindsay, Elody, Ally, and Sam are all enjoying tuna rolls and movies on Ally’s giant couch. Sam can’t... (full context)
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Ally’s mom comes to the door and asks the girls to quiet down—it has been a... (full context)
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Sam hears footsteps upstairs—Ally’s mother is answering the phone. The girls wonder who is calling at two in the... (full context)
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...of their rose and the cruel note attached to it. Lindsay scoffs at this, but Ally worries that that’s the reason, too. Lindsay shuts the girls up by telling them that... (full context)
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...is just going to the bathroom, but she makes her way through the halls of Ally’s house and heads down to the basement. Sam searches for Ally’s collection of all their... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...what happened, but then remembers that they are in a fight. She thinks about texting Ally, but she can’t find the words to describe what just happened to her. Sam drops... (full context)
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...returned from the trip, she was acting cruel and on edge, making fun of Elody, Ally, and Sam constantly. Sam knew something bad must have happened in New York, but none... (full context)
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...had sex with him for the first time, she recounted it to Sam, Elody, and Ally as if it had been her first time ever. The girls pretended along with Lindsay... (full context)
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Back at the party, Sam has lost track of Lindsay, Elody, and Ally. She’s been drinking for an hour since she first saw them, and at last decides... (full context)
Chapter 5
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When Sam gets home, she has three new texts: Lindsay, Elody, and Ally have all texted her the same happy Cupid Day wish. Sam doesn’t reply. She has... (full context)
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...Juliet Sykes is here—Lindsay reveals that Juliet has already come and gone, after calling Lindsay, Ally, and Elody bitches in front of everyone. (full context)
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Lindsay calls to Elody and Ally, telling them that Sam is here, but is busy looking for her “best friend” Juliet.... (full context)
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...and asks if she’s okay. Sam is in shock, and can only say that Lindsay, Ally, and Elody were in the car that hit Juliet. Kent pulls his phone out and... (full context)
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...the woods and watches as Lindsay stumbles up to the road, crying. Kent is supporting Ally as they walk up to the highway. Lindsay screams that Elody is still in the... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...or Juliet. Sam zones back into the conversation when Juliet’s name is mentioned—Sam knows that Ally, who has biology with Juliet, must be about to tell their group about how Juliet... (full context)
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...away. Juliet does not have a single rose with her, and Sam is deeply disappointed. Ally finishes telling the group all about the huge bouquet Juliet got, and Sam asks what... (full context)
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...would do if she grabbed him and kissed him right now. She thinks about what Ally was saying days ago about chaos theory, and about all the random steps, missteps, and... (full context)
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At Ally’s house, Sam obsessively checks and re-checks her makeup. Her friends tell her she’s “Freaking out,”... (full context)
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Ally comes up to Sam, who has by now lost sight of Kent. Sam asks Ally... (full context)
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...with a dread that Juliet has already arrived—instead, the scream is followed by laughter, and Ally calls Sam over to her—Rob is in the hallway in nothing but underwear and sneakers.... (full context)
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...just like everyone else. Juliet confesses that she came to tell Sam, Lindsay, Elody, and Ally something. Sam and Juliet say that they’re all “bitches” at the exact same time. Juliet,... (full context)
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An hour and a half later, Sam and Lindsay, having already dropped off Elody and Ally, are sitting in Lindsay’s driveway. Sam remembers being questioned by the police, who asked if... (full context)
Chapter 7
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At Ally’s house after school, Sam privately lists the things she loves about each of her friends.... (full context)
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Inside, Lindsay, Elody, and Ally all welcome Sam warmly. They offer her a drink, but Sam tells them she wants... (full context)
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...by, the woods quiet, and Sam hears Lindsay calling her name—along with Kent, Elody, and Ally. Juliet, frightened, asks why Sam couldn’t just leave her alone. Sam tells Juliet she wants... (full context)
Epilogue
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...and be remembered for. She recalls spending time with Izzy on Cape Cod; cooking with Ally and Elody; embracing Lindsay; enjoying Christmas with her family; and lastly, she remembers kissing Kent.... (full context)