Advance reader reviews of Before I Die by Jenny Downham.

Before I Die

By Jenny Downham

Before I Die
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Sep 2007,
    336 pages.
    Age range: Young Adult


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There are currently 15 member reviews
for Before I Die
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  • Glory (University Park FL)


    my thoughts
    I really liked this book. I was able to finish this book in about 5 hours and could not put it down. I felt the characters were well developed and believable. It was all I could do to keep from crying. I am not sure I would let my 14 year old read it though. I think it is more appropriate for an older teenager (16+) or adult. Would highly reccomend this book.
  • Susan (Doral FL)


    Before I Die
    I had a hard time getting into this book.It took several attempts for me to finish the book as I found it disjointed and didn't flow well.

    .
  • Diane (Nashville TN)


    Death for real
    I read this in one sitting - it's just that compelling. At the same time, it was hard to reach the end of the book, since the narrator's death was so certain. It was also hard to read through all my tears! But it was a good kind of grief, the kind that calls to mind the real life experiences of losing loved ones to the slow ordeal of cancer. I found it to be exceptional in the juxtaposition of ordinary teen life with the threat of imminent death. Many teens like reading about death ala Lurlene McDaniel, and I think they will eat this more realistic portrayal up.
  • Jayne (Canton MA)


    very good book
    I read the book in a couple of days and really enjoyed the writing. The story was haunting and made me think. I will recommend this book to a teenager who is interested in something more than the normal teenage books out there.
  • Beverly (Palm Harbor FL)


    Good First Effort
    Before I Die is a good first effort. I felt that the first half of the book needed tighter editing; if you can get there, the second half flowed a lot better with more "action". The adult characters were not as developed as the teens were, guess that's why it's a teen/young adult novel. Because we are given Tessa's feelings about death and dying, the theme is reminiscent of The Lovely Bones.
  • Carolyn (Loudon TN)


    Before I Die
    I think that perhaps this book could appeal to some adults who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Having already lived some of the life experiences Tessa has on her list, might encourage one to think about their remaining days and make a list of their own. While I found some of the experiences on the list, things I didn't like, it is her list. The end of the book is beautifully written. I shall give this book to my two granddaughters who are 13 and 16. It will be interesting to hear their comments.
  • Michelle (Wilton CT)


    Before I Die
    After getting used to the somewhat disjointed thought patterns of the main character, I couldn't put this book down. It was an extremely realistic account of a young woman with a terminal disease & the author captures the myriad of emotions that the teen goes through as she slowly comes to terms with her illness. You can really feel her pain, anger, depression, and even wild joy at times & my heart truly ached for her. I think this story would appeal to all ages, it is a very realistic account of what it is like to die from a terminal disease, from both sides, the family and the patient. Grab a box of tissues!!
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