Reader reviews and comments on Before I Die, plus links to write your own review.

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Before I Die

by Jenny Downham

Before I Die
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Sep 2007, 336 pages
    May 2009, 336 pages

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There are currently 40 reader reviews for Before I Die
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Karen Fox (04/26/09)

What a wonderful, wonderful book. To learn that this is the authors first is truly unbelievable. I read this book in one night (I just couldn't put it down), I had to know what happened to Tessa from page one and everything in-between until the inevitable end, always hoping that maybe, just maybe that end wouldn't come. A life changing book. By the way, I am not a teenager, I am 43!
Please, Jenny keep writing.
Abby (02/23/09)

This book.
Is very good. I not much of a tearjerker for any book, and this one did it for me. My pillow will be forever stained with mascara. The book really makes you feel good about being alive. Tessa the girl in the book, seemed so brave. The love in between her and her new boyfriend is something that will stay in your mind. Read it you won't regret it. I read the book in 4 days!
E,13 (02/03/09)

I received this book last Christmas and I was apprehensive about reading it. It seemed morbid and depressing, and I didn't really fancy it. However, a few weeks later, a good friend recommended it, saying that it was completely amazing. So for arguments sake I started reading and was completely swept away with it. While being faced with the unthinkable, Tessa manages to keep going and to help her through her last months she writes the list. The story follows her journey and towards the end it is written so beautifully and with such depth of emotion. Congratulations, Ms.Downham, fabulous book.
Diana (01/09/09)

A Teenage Girl, Her Lover, Her Brother, and Death
Before I Die, the interior monologue of a 16 year-old girl dying of leukemia is haunting, compelling, and at places downright beautiful. Written with an adolescent market in mind, some plot features may be a little starry eyed for the adult reader, but overall the book is a worthwhile read--impossible to put down once begun or to finish without a tear. The younger brother, age not given but apparently in the 9-11 range, is almost perfect, with his love and fear for his sister warring with his own needs for attention.
khimz (09/06/08)

before i die
I have read this book more than twice now and every time I read it it brings out a lot of emotion from me. This book will definitely make you cry even if you think your hard as nail :]

I would love to read more of her books and actually meet the author!

One of my fave books!
Deborah (07/23/08)

Reluctantly a 4 instead of a 5
I really did love this book. I read it in one sitting which is a rarity for me. I give it a 4 only because I found it profoundly depressing and am reluctant to heartily endorse it for young adults.

I guess that would be an endorsement. Ms. Downham writes well enough to make me worry about its effects on younger teens. As another reviewer suggests, this book is not for anyone facing a recent death. It is intense, realistic and avoids being maudlin or melodramatic.

A heartbreaker that I will not soon forget.
Kate (01/05/08)

Before I Die
This is possibly the most bizzare book ever. After I read it, I just sat there thinking, "interesting....." it stuck in my mind for a very long time. It is definitely a very good book, and worth a read.
Valerie (12/22/07)

Breaks the heart
This book squeezes your heart and knocks the air out of you. Intense, touching, and well written, it is not for the faint of heart. For anyone dealing with death or serious in any way, this book provides insight into what it may be like for the dying person. Compassionate and holding no punches, this is an astounding book.

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