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Before I Die

Before I Die

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Jenny Downham

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  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell
  • Format: Paperback | 326 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 208mm x 23mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 26 May 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385751834
  • ISBN 13: 9780385751834
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 15,156

Product description

For the many readers who love "The Fault in Our Stars," this is the story of a girl who is determined to live, love, and to write her own ending before her time is finally up. Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and 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, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time runs out. "A "Publishers Weekly "Best Children's Book of the Year A "Booklist "Editors' Choice A Book Sense Children's Pick A "Kirkus Reviews "Editors' Choice A "Publishers Weekly "Flying Start Author" " An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults" The newly released feature film "Now Is Good, " starring Dakota Fanning, is based on Jenny Downham's intensely moving novel.

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Author information

This is Jenny Downham's debut novel. She lives in England.

Customer reviews

By Mitch 11 Mar 2012 5

I only finished this today but wow. The writing is perfect. The research the author would have done to write this book. It's so real. shgfkjfssjfhsfdskhfsfkjsdkfjkjd
Amazing. Just. Please, do yourself a favour and read this. Just...do it.

By Natalie Ward 08 Dec 2011 5

This would have to be one of the most beautifully moving books I have ever read. Even months after finishing it, I still can't get it out of my head. Incredible - come and see my full review at www.ourbookclub.net.au

By Bianca Barber 11 Nov 2010 5

This book is one of the most beautiful, endearing and heartbreaking books that I have ever read. Tessa became the friend I never met and I mourned her when it got to the end of the book. I will be very surprised if you read this book and don't shed a tear or two. Honest, poignant, and heartwrenching. This book will make you change the way you view your life and make you realise how lucky you are to be alive.

By TeensReadToo 02 Oct 2010 4

I devoured this book in two days. It called to me. Beckoned me across the room and begged me to pick it up and finish what I'd started. If I hadn't needed to eat and sleep, I'd have finished it in mere hours. It was that vital to keep going.

Tessa Scott keeps going, too. She keeps writing on the wall and adding to the list of things she wants to do before she dies. Tess's life is being driven from her by leukemia before she herself can even drive a car. It's not fair. She wants a boyfriend. She wants normal.

Tessa pushes. She pushes against the people who want to be near her. She pushes against the rules she's been forced to follow throughout her brief life. She pushes against death.

She keeps breathing. In and out. It's simple. Except, it's not that simple.

This book gives a promise. This book keeps its promise. This book is real. It is deep and winding and important. It is beautiful and strong and eloquent and everlasting. It is just beautiful.

Review quote

Review, NYTBR, October 14, 2007: "This may sound too depressing for words, but it is only one indication of the inspired originality of "Before I Die," by Jenny Downham, that the reader can finish its last pages feeling thrillingly alive ... I don't care how old you are. This book will not leave you." --John Burnham Schwartz Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2007 "Lucid language makes a painful journey bearable, beautiful and transcendent." Starred Review, Publisher's Weekly, August 6, 2007 "The eloquent dying teen can seem a staple of the YA novel, but this British debut completely breaks the mold. Downham holds nothing back in her wrenching and exceptionally vibrant story." Review, Entertainment Weekly, September 21, 2007 "Bound For Glory: This fall, five young authors deliver breakout books packed with razor-sharp writing." Review, Entertainment Weekly, September 28, 2007 "In luminous prose that rings completely true, Downham earns every tear she wrings from her readers. I trust there will be many of them--many readers, and of course, many tears. A-" "From the Hardcover edition."