Thursday, July 21, 2016

Before I Die

Before I DieBefore I Die by Jenny Downham
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so torn on giving this book any stars at all.
First, I have to say, for some reason, I thought this was a Christian novel - not sure why I thought that. Maybe just where I had it sitting on my shelf? Anyways - its SOOOOO not a Christian novel.

But this is the story of a young girl who has terminal cancer & is going to die. Before she goes, she has a list of things she wants to do. First on her list, have sex & other things like break the law, get her parents back together, become famous. After just coming off of another book about lists, "Since You've Been Gone" - I thought this might hold some potential. Not really.

The author is apparently from England & some of the terminology clearly is from a different usage of words. & maybe some things that are normal there, seemed a little strange to me.

It was weird because I really didn't like the book. About half way through, I almost stopped reading it entirely, but thought I came so far so quickly, I could finish up the book in 1 day & maybe it would take a turn & be amazing. It didn't. But it held my attention. I did become involved in caring for Tessa & her family, especially her little brother Cal - & seeing where her relationship with her new boyfriend Adam was going to do. I loved the special things he did for her trying to help her out with her list (Namely, the "Become Famous" item)

The story doesn't hide that this isn't going to end well for Tessa &it was just heart breaking. By the end, I still hated the book but for another reason - it broke my heart. Having a best friend that passed away of cancer, I could just imagine how she felt in those last few days & few hours from reading this.

Because of that grip it had on me in the end is the only reason I gave it 2 stars.
Would I recommend this book to anyone? Probably not. I probably wont even keep it on my shelf. But I am heavyhearted today thinking about Tessa so I guess when a character gets wrapped up in your heart, you gotta throw a few stars their way.

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Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of "normal" life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa's feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time runs out.

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