Friday, October 21, 2011

Before I Die


Book Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: David Fickling Books; Reprint edition (May 26, 2009)
Language: English
Purchased Online

Book Summary

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 finally runs out.


Book Review

Before I Die is an amazingly crafted novel that will astound you. It is written filled with real and uninhibited emotion that will allow you to join the main character in her final days. Tessa Scott, our heroine, is dying of leukemia. Instead of spending her remaining days stuck in her bed, she decided to make most of life by making a bucket list and sets about to accomplish everything.

What I love most about this heartbreaking novel are the characters, Tessa is a great and brave teen. Although she had her mood swings, to the point that you just want to snap her out of it, in the end you will have to admire her tenacity. The male character outshined the female characters on this book. First is the father, he is a wonderful man and any child, with or without illness would be lucky to have him. I couldn’t fault him for being in denial at first. I think there isn’t any parent who wanted or ever imagine his or her child die ahead of him/her. Cal, Tessa’s brother, is a sweet thing. I love the way he adores his sister, and not wanting to let her go. Lastly, Adam, who took the risk to love her and be with her till the end.

The best part of this book is the end, when she finally accepted to herself that death is near. Her death was beautifully written that you could really feel you are with the family saying goodbye to Tessa.  

Before I Die is not a book that will leave you in depression, instead it encourages its reader to grasp and celebrate life. This is not a story about death and dying, but of love and life, of taking risks and making the best of what the world offers. 



Favorite Quotes

I love you. I love you. I send this message through my fingers and into his, up his arm and into his heart.  Hear me. I love you. And I'm sorry to leave you.

We made love twenty seven times and we shared a bed for sixty two nights and that's a lot of love.

I've been told that there are five stages of grief, and if that's true, then he's stuck with stage one: Denial

Being Positive strengthens the immune system

Keep breathing. Just keep doing it, It's easy. In and Out.

I don't want to be dead. I haven't been loved this way for long enough.

"It's all right, Tessa, you can go. We love you. You can go now."
"Why are you saying that?
"She might need permission to die Cal"
"I don't want her to. She doesn't have  my permission."

Nurses never tell you what they know. They’re hired for their cheeriness and the thickness of their hair. They need to look alive and healthy, to give the patients something to aim for.

Lots of people are unhappy. But they never run away. 


Don't pretend to care. I don't need you as an anesthetic. 

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