Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I Die

“Keep breathing. Just keep doing it. It’s easy. In and out.”
-Tessa Scott

Tessa Scott is a teenager who has been fighting lymphoblastic leukaemia since she was twelve. Knowing she isn’t getting any better and her time is running out, Tessa arranges a list of things she’d like to do before she dies. And starting tonight, she’s going out with her best friend Zoey to accomplish number one on the list: sex.

One of the reviews featured on the back cover of the book says “I defy anyone not to cry while reading this.” I’ve seen things like that on multiple books, so I just blew it off, even though I already knew it would be an extremely sad book. And I didn’t cry throughout the book… until it was nearing the end, and I began to tear up. Soon I was full-on crying, and then the book ended, leaving me feeling hollow.

And though I only finished this book about ten minutes ago, looking back at my reaction made me realize that in order to do that, this book had to be awesome.

From the beginning, I thought I was going to hate this book. The first few chapters of the book is just sex, drugs, and more sex, definitely not typical for a YA book. But I went along with it, and I’m so glad I did.

All in all, to me it wasn’t good enough to pass up the others and be considered a favorite, but it was still a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. And the review on the front is a hundred percent accurate: “A book that will make you happy to be alive.”


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