Wednesday 27 July 2011

Review: Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Pages: 327
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Released: 2010

Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is sex. Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa's feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out. "Before I Die" is a brilliantly-crafted novel, heartbreaking yet astonishingly life-affirming. It will take you to the very edge.

I really didn't want to read this one because just by looking at the title, I knew it was going to be quite a tearful journey. And I was not wrong.

This book tells the story of sixteen-year-old Tessa, and her ever on-going struggle with leukemia. Tessa knows that she cannot be cured, the leukemia will claim her life eventually, so she writes up a list of ten things she wants to do before she dies.

I loved Tessa as a character and I think the battle with her illness was told perfectly. Seeing her work her way through the list with her best friend was a joy, and hilarious at times. Even though the book in inevitably about Tessa's approaching death, it's still a story about hope, a story that reminds you to make the most of every opportunity.

This truly is an amazing story that will make you laugh and cry. You will defiantly need the tissues for this one!
Also: Before I Die is currently being adapted into a movie staring Dakota Fanning and Jeremy Irvine. The movie will be called Now Is Good and is due out next year.

I'd rate this book:

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