2013 Book Reviews

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

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“Sixteen-year-old Tess is going to die. And she’s made a list of ten things she wants to do in the time she has left.

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

Tessa is brave, honest and feisty. She is determined to complete her list even doing drugs and breaking the law. Her dad is trying desperately to keep her alive and keep her safe. Searching Internet and feeding her special diets.
Her brother Cal is a typical young boy angry and confused and so scared, I found their bond, particularly towards the end, the saddest thing of all.
Tessa is angry that people get to live on without her and has trouble accepting her fate, which is devastatingly hard to read.
Her mother ran out on her, Cal and her dad and isn’t big on turning up to hospital appointments but she is trying now.

This was first published in 2007, and I, on purpose wouldn’t read it. It’s too sad and real to life, I didn’t want to upset myself.
But when a book is completely raved about by nearly everyone, eventually curiosity got the better of me.
I’m pleased I got round to reading it.

As a mother I found this so hard to read, I think it’s any parents biggest fear, to loose a child. This book is heartbreakingly good. It’s so incredibly sad and will leave you a sobbing wreck. It will make you hug loved ones and be grateful they are healthy. You will be left appreciating the small things in life.

I would suggest anyone who doesn’t like unhappy endings to give it a miss, but if you want to read something very raw and very real, give it a try with tissues and chocolates.


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