Friday, November 23, 2012

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

5 stars

Tessa only has a few months left to live. She’s tired of the constant hospital visits, tests, and drugs that seem to do more harm to her body than good; she decides to make a list. The list is a list of things to do before she dies. She calls it “To Do Before I Die”. The first thing she wants is sex. So her best friend Zoey takes her out. As Tessa starts to complete new things on the list she starts to feel alive again. As Tessa makes a new relationship with her neighbor she wonders what will happen when she’s gone. Before I Die is a book I will never forget. Ever. This book will always be with me. Tessa’s story was real, sad, touching, and utterly depressing. I knew what would happen, we all did, but when you read from Tessa’s POV you want her to live and survive and be with Adam.

The main female character is Tessa. Tessa is one of the most compelling teens I’ve come across in YA. It’s hard to read about someone experiencing what she is, but I somehow managed to read it all in one sitting.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 8.5

The main male character is Adam. I loved Adam. He was simple and sweet. Just what Tessa needed and I feel for Adam. I remember when I finished reading this I thought to myself immediately, “What happens to Adam?” Does he find happiness, love, his dreams, where does he go now that Tessa has died? I want to know about what happens to him after his love with Tessa. I think it would be amazing. I don’t need a love story I feel like I need to know he has had closure.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 9

The Villain- *sighs* Do you really need me to tell you when it’s obvious from the summary what she has? If you didn’t figure it out which I could understand if you didn’t if it hadn’t been for my cover I wouldn’t have realized it either.
(view spoiler)

Villain Scale: 10

Zoey, Tessa’s friend, had moments when their friendship felt fake and flat. I didn’t like her very much for a while, but towards the end she grew on me and I want to know about her life as (view spoiler)I loved her family. They weren’t the most functional family, but they were there for her. At least her dad and brother were.

Character Scale: 8.5

This isn’t my best review or most thought out. I’m not really sure how to compile all the reasons I loved this book. I read it when I was in the seventh grade and it’s still fresh in my mind. It also probably doesn’t help that I’m listening to Alesana and I’m distracted, but that’s a whole other story. I loved this story. If anyone asked me what my favorite book is that opened my eyes and made me think about life and death and other things, it would be this book. I suggest a box of Kleenex when you read this because I cried rivers of tears. I will always feel connected to these characters and one day I’ll want my kids to read this book. Let’s face it I can’t do this book justice. I don’t think anyone can. You have to read it yourself to understand it.

P.S. Did you know there’s a British movie starring Dakota Fanning based on this book called Now Is Good? I didn’t know until today. I might watch it one day.

Cover Thoughts: This book has several covers. I had this one:
I feel like this one speaks to people. It’s not my favorite of the covers my favorite is this one:
But I loved my cover even if it’s not the most beautiful because it’s real and true the book. That’s what makes a good cover. 

To see the review with spoilers click here. Thanks for reading and I'm late but I was with family yesterday so HAPPY SUPER LATE THANKSGIVING!

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