Monday, 9 July 2012

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I Die by Jenny Downham.

TIME TO READ:  2 days
PAGES: 336 pg's

Tessa has just 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, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

Tessa is dying of cancer. She has had all the treatments and now she wants to give up. I liked Tessa's character. She is a strong, independent and level headed character. She is dying of leukaemia, so she makes a list of all she has to do before she bites the dust. Her list was like most peoples would be- sex, drugs, alcohol etc,. She was a very realistic character, that i really grew attached to over the course of the novel. I loved her relationship with Adam, it was so real and beautiful. He was a gentleman and treated her with so much love. She really loved him-and he was there when she took her last breath <3
Zoey, Tessa's best friend . Zoey is a bit of a wild child, she likes to go clubbing, take drugs- alcohol and often goes home with various men from the clubs. She was Tessa's biggest advocate for living on the wild side . I loved Tessa's "say YES day", that was really fun. I Liked Zoeys character, but she was sometimes so selfish and it sometimes felt as if she forgot about Tessa's illness as she pushed her too hard. I was very sad by the ending when Tessa did not get to meet Zoey's baby.
Cal, Tessa's little brother, was adorable. One of my absolute favourite moments of this book was when Tessa brought him on a shopping trip- buying him toys and stuff. Cal was just like any eleven year old brother. He sometimes felt jealous and that was to be expected. Overall, the characters were very vivid and realistic in this novel.

PLOT:  5/5
Although there was no action scenes, the plot was hugely gripping in this novel. I had read only one book about death before, and that was when I was 12 "Ways To Live Forever by Sally Nichols". That was a loong time ago and I remember it being so sad. So because I had never read many books like this one, it was very interesting. I thought this book was a page turner, but you can probably guess that since I read it in only two days in the middle of my tests ! It was engrossing and heat breaking and just all round awesome! This book is one of those books that most Teens, and possibly adults- if it interests you, should definitely read. I found it to be an instant favourite!

Jenny Downham has the most beautiful poetic flow to her writing that keeps me reading on and on. I loved her other book You Against Me by Jenny Downham and I decided to read this one after reading that one. I loved the writing style of the book . The dialogue between Tessa and her family, and the romantic dialogue between Adam and Tessa. Her descriptions were so real, of both people and places and actions , that you felt you were apart of the story. The ending of the book is very well written, and yes- I did tear up a bit! Loved every aspect of this book.

a five star book (Favourite)
* * * * *
4 Kleenex boxes- it's a sad book.


  1. So glad to see this got a positive review! I'm hoping to read it soon. Sounds exactly like the kind of book I'd love :)

    1. Glad to hear that you liked my review. Hope you like it.