Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review: Before I Die by Jenny Downham


I picked up this book because I noticed my mom reading it in Finnish. Normally I don't pick books which I know are going to end sadly because they make me depressed and think about the losses I have personally experienced in my life. I had to find this book in English and read it because the back cover caught my attention and when I found it from the database of the library I decided to give it a try.

Tessa, a 16 year old girl from England, has been sick for years. She has cancer and doctors have tried everything to make her better without success. Tessa lives in a reality and she understands that sooner or later she will die for her sickness. There are a lot of things Tessa wants to do before she dies so she creates a list of things to do. With the assistance of her friend Zoey she undergoes the 1st couple of steps of her list without feeling any better... until she meets Adam.

Adam is everything Tessa has always wanted. Tessa loves Adam and Adam loves Tessa. He does not care about her sickness. With Adam Tessa learns things about love and undergoes more steps from her list. Even some steps she had never imagined she would undergo.

I really like the style of Downham. Especially towards the end the book got really good. The style of writing Downham uses to describe the thoughts of Tessa on her last days made me speechless. I must say that I did not really enjoy the beginning of the book and many times I thought of giving up on it. I am happy that I did not because the ending was really sad and heartbreaking but at the same time also very peaceful and beautiful.

PS. I think this book would make a really good movie. I love movies like "A Walk to Remember" and "Keith" which are about the same subject - the lost of a love one to cancer.


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