Sunday 6 February 2011

Review: Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Tessa is dying. Oh, sure, we're all dying eventually. But most of us can hope, at least when we're teenagers, that our final exit will be some decades away. For Tessa, no such hope. She has a few months left to live, and a lot of stuff to pack into those few months. Starting with losing her virginity.

There are 46 chapters to Before I Die. I made it to roughly chapter 35 before I started crying. By a few pages later, I was howling like a baby, particularly when reading Tessa's instructions to her dad as to what to do after she died. Tessa is an incredibly brave tragic heroine whose story will touch everyone who reads about her.

There's lots more I COULD say, but to be honest, I think I’ve said everything that NEEDS to be said. This is a complete must read for everyone who loves great writing and wonderful characters. The only book which comes close to it when dealing with the subject of death, for me, is the exquisite The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

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