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Before I Die (2007)

by Jenny Downham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,1871365,546 (3.81)1 / 62
A terminally ill teenaged girl makes and carries out a list of things to do before she dies.
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English (122)  Swedish (4)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (136)
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
Unfortunately, this book has disappointed me very much.

The situation of the main heroine is very sad and horrible - she is a teen only, but she has blood cancer, and her disease is constantly progressing. That's why she makes up a list of things she wants to do before she dies.

When I'd read the annotation, I thought it will be a story about enjoying the life despite the difficulties. But I discovered that Tessa's wishes were not so good.

I totally understand that a person who is going to die soon cannot be expected to stay happy and enjoy the life. Tessa's emotions are quite common. But in my opinion, it is not normal to accuse other people of being healthy when you are not.

The plot line with Adam seemed to me quite unrealistic. I can't explain it properly, but I just didn't believe in their feelings. As for me, Tessa just had an egoistic wish to have Adam constantly near her, and Adam pitied Tessa.

To sum up, it wasn't easy reading, and it's a pity that the author messed up such a good idea. ( )
  Diana_Hryniuk | Aug 28, 2021 |
Rating: 4.5/5

Thank you Jenny, it’s not like I needed my soul or anything…

The last fifty pages were the hardest to read since the 7th book of Harry Potter: knowing what will eventually come but choosing to ignore it and have some hope that things won’t take down that road. I still have that lump in my throat choking me and I firmly know that I won’t be forgetting about this book anytime soon.

A heartbreaking story, an amazing writing and a narrator whose voice will haunt you for days weeks to come.
( )
  Ash600 | Mar 19, 2021 |
I found this one a little slow to get started, but it definitely improved as it went on, becoming more and more poetic and engaging as the protagonist moves closer to her own death. I think the bucket list works well to tie the book together, especially as Tessa begins to change it, but it meant that the first third or so was more about that than Tessa's feelings and her struggle with terminal leukaemia. I understand the author's choice there, even if it did mean that I didn't connect with her protagonist initially, as there is such a erosive force to the book. The opening chapters are almost manic with action, their prose straightforward and emotionless. By the end, however, even the sentences have fallen apart, just as Tessa's body has. It's very clever.

One negative, though: a first person protagonist dying at the end is a huge pet hate of mine. I wish this ended a fraction before it does! ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
I really enjoyed this book. Tessa felt so real to me and I can't tell you how many times I just wanted to give her a huge hug or comfort her. I was really glad this wasn't one of those fluffy stories where the person is really sick and by the end of the novel you learn they are okay. It was nice to get to know Tessa through her journey to her final days. Downham has a way of making Tessa's story relatable to teens even if we will never suffer from the same illness or fate as Tessa. Even though the topic is a bit on the sad side, it's a nice read and makes you think for a little while. ( )
  IntrovertedBooks | Mar 26, 2018 |
Wow. I'm speechless. Like, seriously. ( )
  Swibells | Nov 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jenny Downhamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Parry, CharlotteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Louis and Archie, with love
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I wish I had a boyfriend.
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A terminally ill teenaged girl makes and carries out a list of things to do before she dies.

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16-vuotias Tessa sairastaa parantumatonta leukemiaa. Mutta hän ei aio jäädä sänkyyn odottelemaan kuolemaa vaan tekee listan asioista, jotka haluaa vielä kokea. Hän tahtoo menettää neitsyytensä, rikkoa lakia, tulla kuuluisaksi ja saattaa eronneet vanhempansa takaisin yhteen.Kun kuvioihin ilmestyy naapurinpoika Adam, Tessa pääsee kokemaan asioita, joista ei olisi koskaan osannut haaveillakaan. Vaikka sairaus syö päivä päivältä Tessan voimia, viime kuukausinaan hän tuntee olevansa vahvemmin elossa kuin koskaan ennen.
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Average: (3.81)
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