Before I Die

Before I Die
By: Jenny Downham

Everyone has to die. We all know it. With only a few months to life left, sixteen- year old Tessa knows it better than most.

She's made a list, though- ten things she wants to do before she dies. Number one is sex. Starting tonight.

But getting what she wants isn't easy. And getting what you want doesn't always give you what you need. And sometimes the most unexpected things become important.

summary from book

My Rating: 4.5/5

It took me a while to get through this book mainly because it just made me so sad. I felt horribly for Tessa who has leukemia and wants nothing more than to live her life, all of it, past sixteen and beyond.

I think this book is really beautifully written. Death is a difficult topic to tackle and I think Jenny Downham did this novel justice. Tessa is strong, a lot stronger than I would have imagined her to be given her situation. The characters in this novel were real, so much so that I felt like I knew them.

I think Jenny Downham is a really great writer. There's a poetic style to the way she words and describes particular things. Her writing is full of imagery and I found her words captivating and wonderful to read. I also think that the summary provided for this novel doesn't do the entire story justice. There's a lot more to this book then the summary provides.

I think that there is a lot to take away from this novel. Most of all, it makes you really realize how wonderful it is to be alive, and how we often take even the simplest of things for granted. I really recommend this story. Sadness aside, it's a really great read.


  1. I can't bring myself to read this, because it just sounds so sad. And being a worrier, I'm probably best to stay away from things like this!

    Thanks for the review though, I've heard a lot of good reports on this book :)

  2. Anonymous5/14/2009

    I'm a worrier too, that's why it was even harder to read. Yeah, I like to torture myself haha.

  3. It sounds like a fantastic, powerful novel. I've been meaning to read it for a while. Great review!


  4. this sounds unique! I'm definetely keeping my eye out for this one.




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