Before I Die – Book Review

Title: Before I Die

Author: Jenny Downham

Length: 346 Pages

Genre: Young adult fiction/romance

Publisher: Black Swan

Description: Tessa is a 16-year-old girl who has cancer, she’s dying. But she – like everyone else – has a lot of things she wants to do before she dies, but her time is running out. Tessa writes a list on her bedroom wall of things she wants to do, she plans on achieving them all, but as she becomes more ill she finds it harder and harder to complete everything.

My Thoughts: I’ve wanted to read this book for a really long time and luckily enough I came across it in an Oxfam charity shop and bought it for £1.99 (a bit of pointless information for you.) I decided to start reading it before I had even finished reading the book I was currently reading (The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness). I’m not going to lie, it was depressing and sad. I was expecting it to be different to what it was to be honest, I didn’t think it was as good as it could have been, I felt like Tessa’s relationship with Adam ( her boyfriend) wasn’t real it felt fake and more like he was just being there with her because he felt sorry for her, because she was dying and I thought that was really annoying, he didn’t feel like her actually cared. Also I think some of the other characters could have been more likeable and easier to relate to.

All of that being said, it was a good book and I thought that Jenny Downham was very good at expressing how you would feel if you were dying, and I think in some ways could help you come to terms with it (if you weren’t already) especially at such a young age. The realness of it gave it feeling and emotion, and it was good because I like being able to emotionally connect with books even if it’s in a sad way.

There were good bits and I liked the fact that Tessa had a list although I think that could have been a more solid part of the story-line as that’s what I thought it was about, a dying girl who had loads of things she wanted to do and tried to achieve them all in the time she had, but it wasn’t really like that at all that was just a small part of the story.

It was quite a lot like The Fault In Our Stars by John Green but Before I Die came first so I’m not accusing it of being a copy of another book.

I would rate this book 3 and a half stars out of five.

My Favourite Part: I don’t really have a favourite part to be honest. I liked it when she was completing things off her list but it was all just one story that kind of locked together rather than having particular bits that stood out.

Warning: This book contains sex scenes that can sometimes be mildly detailed, there were a couple of uses of swearing, and obviously talks about death a lot and can be upsetting and depressing.

Other Books By The Author: You Against Me 

Other Information: Before I Die was turned into a GoldCrest Pictures film renamed Now Is Good (12A) starring Dakota Fanning (Twilight: New Moon) and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) which appeared in cinemas on the 19 September 2012. The film was nominated for five awards and won four of them.

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