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By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead (edition 2010)

by Julie Anne Peters

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4924720,793 (3.83)14
Member:realbigcat
Title:By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead
Authors:Julie Anne Peters
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2010), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fiction

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By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

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Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
After reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, I was recommended this book. They both deal with suicide and depression, so I got it and read it.

Even though I didn't love Thirteen Reasons Why, I still remember the book and how I felt reading it. On the other hand, after I finished, "By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead." I didn't feel anything. Not anger, not sadness, not joy. Just meh.

No that's not true. After I read the ending, I thought, "That's it?"

The ending was left open-ended, leaving it up to the reader to decide what happens to Daelyn. I don't mind this, I watch a lot of Asian dramas and some of the books and they love their open ended stories. So I'm fine with this kind of ending. In fact, sometimes it can evoke different feelings out of you, depending on your mood and mindset.

But for some reason, I didn't like the open-endedness of this novel. In the book, Daelyn wants to commit suicide, she's had enough of life and can't wait till she kills herself. She's attempted to do this a few times, but each time she fails.

Daelyn doesn't want to fail again, so she joins an online community that promotes suicides. The site provides different ways you can kill yourself as well as tips for the big day. The only condition is that you have to wait for 23 days before you kill yourself.

The site is disgusting and I didn't like hearing about it, because of the seriousness of the matter, but at the same time it was interesting. It does scare me that there are probably sites like this out there.

In any case, Daelyn joins and the 23 days commence. During this time she meets a boy named Santana who doesn't leave her alone. Daelyn can't talk, but he can't stop talking. Later in the book you find out that Santana is dying, which does add a nice contrast to Daelyn's life. Daelyn wants to die because she's sick of life, but Satana is dying, but wants to live longer. I don't know why he wasted so much time with her (at least at first), but it does make some sense later on in the novel.

The more Daelyn hangs out with Santana, the more she wants to live...except she doesn't. I never felt like she was willing to change her plans because of Santana. Did she like him, yea. But was she going to let that stop her? I don't think so.

Which is why the ending didn't sit well with me. I don't think it was written in a way that provided two options of Daelyn. Not only is her mind set on killing herself, but she doesn't want to change. She doesn't. And I'm not knocking her feelings and characterization. I'm not. But in order for the ending to work, Daelyn needed to have some self reflection and inner turmoil about suicide, especially after meeting Santana.

Instead, she wants to kill herself for 95% of the book, then near the end she struggles a bit, then goes back to how she was before.

I dunno, it just didn't work for me. ( )
  pdbkwm | Sep 8, 2014 |
I hate how this story has no power over me anymore. A year ago, I would've been swept away by it, but now it just completely fails to move me. ( )
  potterhead9.75 | Jan 5, 2014 |
This book was wonderful and horrible at the same time. It was horrifying to read the bullying that the main character described as she counted down to the day she planned to end her life, but it was also very introspective--for the character, as well as the reader. She describes the assaults and the "teasing" and "taunting" that she had gone through her entire life, but I think that by describing it and writing it out, she managed to also deal with it--or at least start to, because by the end of the book, she seemed more hopeful.

It ends in a very open-ended way, so you don't know if Daelyn went through with the suicide or not. I guess that however you interpret it ends up saying more about you than it does about the book. In a way, I think that the book may encourage the reader to deal with past traumas, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is easily triggered. This book should have a big old "trigger warning" on the cover because it deals with a lot of touchy subjects. ( )
  janersm | Jan 4, 2014 |
A very emotional book - so much so that I'm not able to write a coherent review at this time. Beautifully written, and Daelyn is just spot on for the whole book. I can identify with her so much when I was that age. ( )
  schatzi | Dec 7, 2013 |
I found this a difficult book to categorize. It is essentially a novel that chronicles the systematic suicidal thought processes of a young girl who is bullied at school and is determined to kill herself. Dark stuff, indeed. And while this is riding the current wave of bullying attention, it is also a look into the metal dysfunction of suicidal youths who refuse to see an alternate way out of the misery. It is in many ways too descriptive to be classified as "YA" and yet the author is known for YA and children's books. It works more as a warning to parents to be more attentive to problems with their youth. While certainly not a beach novel, it is an easy read and a good introduction into the psyche of troubled children. ( )
  mldavis2 | Sep 19, 2013 |
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To C.J. Bott for her tireless campaign against bullying
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The white boy, the skinny, tall boy with shocking white hair, sneaks behind the stone bench and leans against the tree trunk.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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High school student Daelyn Rice, who has been bullied throughout her school career and has more than once attempted suicide, again makes plans to kill herself, in spite of the persistent attempts of an unusual boy to draw her out.

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