Tuesday, November 13, 2007

BEFORE I DIE by Jenny Downham

BEFORE I DIE is the story of a 16 year old with terminal leukemia. Tessa makes a list of all the things she'd like to accomplish in the next few months. Before she dies. Those around Tessa are forced to help her live out the last of her life on her terms.

Yes, it is depressing. But not as depressing as you might think.


Well, maybe because the characters arcs are really well done. Tessa's friends (new and old), her family and Tessa herself all go through amazing changes. And Tessa is pretty flawed, pretty human, pretty teen.

Or maybe it's because the language is so lyrical. For example: "I like it - the stall and shove of traffic, the deep thrum of a bus engine, an urgent siren in the distance."

Or maybe because it makes you think about what's important vs unimportant in your own life. How the rules would change if you had a dying teen in your household. And how perhaps some of these rules should change anyway. All good food for thought.

Also, I actually laughed out loud at some of the exchanges between Tess and her younger brother. Dark humour, but really funny.

At any rate, BEFORE I DIE is phenomenal. And the film rights sold in September. Yay! Major kudos to Jenny Downham on her debut Young-Adult novel!!


Beth said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've been reading over your posts. They're great.
Re: your post on crock pot recipes? I'm a lousy cook but you should check out Mrs. G at www.derfwadmanor.blogspot.com
She posts a crock pot recipe every Thursday - and she's funny.

Sherry said...

Barrie, thanks for posting about this. I think it is something special and want to read the book. We hate the idea of young people with cancer and losing their lives. But there is much to be learned from these experiences...and what life is really meant to be about.

Barrie said...

Hi Beth! A million thank-yous for reading the posts. AND for pointing me in Mrs. G's direction! I'm enjoyng your blog too!

Barrie said...

Sherry--I thought of you while reading this book. Please let me know what you think after reading it.

Melissa said...

can't wait to read this one!

Sara Hantz said...

I hadn't heard of this one before. I'm definitely going to read it. Thanks for sharing!

Swishy said...

This got a SPECTACULAR review in Entertainment Weekly (aka my Bible). Thank you for reminding me of it!

Joanne Rendell said...

sounds an amazing book.

and congrats on your book too, Barrie.