Friday, February 26, 2010

Before I die by Jenny Downham

Title:  Before I die
Author:  Jenny Downham 
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:  Definitions
Publication Date: March 2008
Stand alone or series:  Stand Alone
Book Length: 327

Favourite Quote:  "I wish I had a boyfriend. I wish he lived in the wardrobe on a coat hanger. Whenever I wanted, I could get him out and he'd look at me the way boys do in films, as if I'm beautiful. "

Synopsis (From the back of the book)
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.

My Thoughts
Tissues, and lots of them.  When I picked this book up I thought I wouldn't need them, by the end I think I used half a box.

Before I die is written in first person from Tessa's point of view.  Tessa is your average 16 year old girl except for one thing.  She has cancer.  Filled with a wonderful cast of characters, this story is both original and inspiring.  Jenny Downham has done a fantastic job drawing her readers in and I honestly felt I was there with Tessa, feeling the same struggles, hopes and fears she, her family and friends had to face.

Before I die is beautifully written, and one book you will remember long after you reach the last page.

If you loved this book you might also like Before I fall by Lauren Oliver.  Another awesome Book  


  1. Wow. this might sound odd, but I love books that have the ability to make you cry! I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much. It's been on my TBR list for awhile, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Thanks for the review! :)

  2. Great review! This book was amazing. It was particularly hard to read because I had recently lost a 20 year old former student to colon cancer. I kept seeing her in the story. I choke up still when I think of this book.

  3. I'm pretty open to reading alot of different types of books. If I hadn't read a review on this I wouldn't have probably read this.. But I'm glad I did. Thanks for the comments

  4. Hey Melissa! My blog buddy Natalie recommended your site, and so I had to check it out! It's gorgeous :D

  5. I loved Before I Fall and I have a copy of this that I've been wanting to read for ages! Thanks for the review!

  6. Amelia - Cool I'm glad you like it.
    Bookalicious Ramblings - be prepared for tears :) It's a very moving book.

  7. Although this will be a difficult read, I am still interested in this book. Thanks for a great review.

    I am a new follower! I love your blog and will return again.



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