Monday, August 1, 2011

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Tessa's going to die soon. At the age of 12 she contracted leukemia, a deadly cancer. Four years later it's spread all over her body and it's only a matter of time. She's made a list of things she wants to do before she dies--a list she knows her dad won't approve of. So she gets her friend Zoey to help her.

First on the list--have sex. Other things include saying yes to everything for an entire day, becoming famous, falling in love, driving, and shoplifting, among others.

As her time grows shorter, her list gets longer. She meets the boy next door, Adam, who has a lot of his own issues to deal with. She spends time with her brother Cal. And Zoey has her own surprise along the way. Life is what Tessa wants to experience, before it's too late.

Absolutely heartbreaking to finish. Tessa isn't always a sympathetic character but very realistic. As a narrator she draws you into her story and even though you're sure you know the eventual outcome, it is still hard to put down and hard to keep going.

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