[PDF / Epub] ★ Before I Die By Jenny Downham – Transportjobsite.co.uk

  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • Before I Die
  • Jenny Downham
  • English
  • 02 October 2019
  • 9780385613460

10 thoughts on “Before I Die

  1. says:

    This book about broke my heart It s not as if I didn t know how it would end the title says it all, but I didn t expect to be touched by the story to such a degree.The premise of Before I Die is quite simple Tessa is 16 and dying of leukemia She knows that she has only a few months to live and struggles to come to terms with her fate Trying to make the best of the time she has left, Tessa comes up with a list of things she would like to experience before she dies Some items on the list are silly to try drugs, to commit a crime, to become famous but one desire overwhelmes Tessa She wants to experience love, but knowing that there is no way it is possible in her circumstances, she settles for having sex This is how the story starts The first sexual experience doesn t make Tessa feel any better, in fact, she is crushed than ever But things change when she gets to know her new neighbor an 18 year old boy Adam, who has a heartbreaking story of his ownJust like another similarly themed favorite book of mine If I Stay, Before I Die never crosses over into the area of melodrama, and this is very important to me, because I despise being emotionally manipulated by books The characters are real, their pain is real, Tessa s journey from depression to anger to resignation to temporary happiness is poignant and her everyday desire to live and not let go of her waning life is heartbreaking I loved many things about this book the narration, tragic but with a touch of humor the love story, which is definitely one of the best I ve ever read But mostly I loved that this book reminded me of importance of the most mundane things in my life the ability to spend time with my family, to enjoy a simple walk, and to plan for future A beautiful debut by Jenny Downham.

  2. says:

    This review can be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.comI don t really know what to say about this book I didn t like it that much, but I didn t hate it either. The bad For the most part of the story I didn t really care about Tessa, about her illness and her strange wishes as I never got attached to her I understand the desire to have a boyfriend, to be kissed and have sex, probably at her age this would be an important part of her life, but the other wishes were kind of stupid and not the ones that someone would like to think about before dying I just expected something else from her and I was disappointed by all this.More than this I hated her dumb friend who reminded her every 5 minutes that she s gonna die and who was NEVER there for her and when she tried to help Tessa with her stupid wishes I just wanted to punch her for being such an idiot and not being a good friend at all , I hated her little brother telling her that he can t wait for her to be gone sometimes he seemed to be 5 years old even if we ve been told he was older , I hated her mother who seemed not to care about her at all Ok, so there were lots of things I didn t like in this book The good The only character that I liked was Adam I don t know why he fell in love with Tessa because she didn t even deserved it and didn t deserve him and because this happened so suddenly, but he was really nice and caring There were some scenes with him being there for her and giving her all his love that made me like him I felt sad for him, really, because Tessa was going to die and that was the end for her, but he will remember her all his life, he will lose a part of him forever. so he was the only character in this book that made me care There were times that Tessa wanted him close, and there were times when she told him to get away and never come back, but he was always there for her, never disappointing her I love you, he whispers angrily into my neck It hurts than anything ever has, but I do So don t you dare tell me I don t Don t you ever say it again The best part of this book is of course the ending All those dreams mixed with reality and thoughts, the notes for the ones she was letting behind, the people that cared for her being finally there for her, that was the only part that touched my heart, that was the only part that made me care, because death is hard even if only written in the books, death makes you cry, death makes you think about all the thing that you want to do while still alive. SO, what s on your list You never know how much time you have. so, how many items on your list did you check so far, and how many are still waiting to be done

  3. says:

    I feel like a jerk for not giving this story stars I mean, it s a book about a sixteen year old girl trying to live life to the fullest before dying of cancer I keep thinking only a heartless baby eating monster would give this book less then four stars Well, I suppose I am that monster, minus the whole baby eating thing.It s not like the premise failed to pull at my heartstrings as I read this book I genuinely felt for the girl And it s not like the author went out of her way to manipulate her audience This book never crosses the line into full on manipulation, though there are times I feel it comes close, but not enough to bother me My problem lies with the protagonist, Tessa Yeah, you read that right I don t like the main character, a teenage girl dying of cancer Before you start throwing things let me explain Like I said before, I felt for Tessa, because her situation is incredibly tragic, but, I m sorry, she sucks I know she s dying but that doesn t give her an excuse to manipulate everyone around her into doing what she wants them to do Dying young isn t some get out of jail free card you can wave around when your actions have negative consequences that you d rather not face Here s the deal Tessa has a list of ten things she wants to do before she dies Sounds good, right Well, the majority of the things on the list are reckless or selfish or illegal or just plain stupid Sometime a combination of all four And you know what That s not so bad, doesn t necessarily bother me Teenagers do stupid, selfish and or illegal stuff Tessa wants to sow some wild oats before dying I get it What bothers me is the fact that she believes the rules shouldn t apply to her because she is dying she can do whatever she wants, damn the consequences What s worse, Tessa demands a lot from her friends and family At times she asks them to do things that, even under the tragic circumstances, are too much to ask When they seem reluctant to comply she tells them that whatever it is she s asking happens to be on her list Most of the time these things were not on her list until, conveniently, they were It s her manipulation that really gets to me I hate that she resorts to manipulation to get whatever she wants At one point Tessa throws a monumental fit I mean, off the charts huge because she doesn t get what she wants when she wants it to make love with her boyfriend Don t get me wrong, I knew her her freak out had to do with the fact that she s dying so young, before she s old enough to really do anything, be anyone, then anything else But still, she took it a little too far, I think.In the end I got the idea that she had a full grasp at what was truly important in life But for me, Tessa s understanding came too late in the game It happened so late, that I, heartless monster that I am, had already spent some time wondering when she was going to just die already Yes, this really did go through my mind, then a few times, near the end of this book if this weren t a total work of fiction, I d be going to hell for that, I m sure I know I m a monster for not giving this book stars, unfortunately I m unable to give this book then the two stars I ve given it P.S Because I m unable to recommend Before I Die to anyone I m going to go ahead and recommend Before I Fall, which is another YA book which deals with death and is, in my humble opinion, infinitely better then this book.

  4. says:

    I started this book wondering, Why am I reading this and I ended it wondering, Why did I read this But my two reasons for thinking these things were very different.In the beginning, I felt like this book would be a repetition of Skinny, a massive disappointment in which the author was enad with the idea of a sick, frail, floundering heroine The heroine in this book started out looking or less the same I m sick, I m gonna die, the world sucks, so leave me alone Tessa begins the book by deciding that she wants to have sex before she dies With the help of her friend Zoey, this begins Tessa s list of things to experience before she dies In case you re wondering, I decided to read this because I related to the list She keeps the list written on her wall, which alarms her father when he sees the things she plans to do break the law, try drugs, become famous etc And as cheesy as it s going to sound, this really did end up being a book about life in all its beauty and complexity Tessa s world didn t stop because she was dying and I feel that Ms Downham did a good job of capturing the complexity of emotions here Tessa s boyfriend s decision to move away for college so he wouldn t be reminded of her, Tessa s father constantly wavering between needing to discipline her and wanting to cherish his last months with her, her younger brother s inability to really process what was happening So besides a few characters that could have been fleshed out a little , the middle of this book is actually quite good.Of course, we all know how the book is going to end But I didn t know I was going to spend the last 30 pages sobbing Poor Joker was so freaked out And it was so painful that I asked why the heck I put myself through reading a book where I knew the main character would most likely end up dead But I did, and got about 3.5 stars out of it I can tell you this It ain t Lurlene McDaniel.

  5. says:

    One of my favourite films of all time is the 2003 film My Life Without Me, about a dying woman who tries to fulfill her written list of things she wants to do, simultaneously learning to appreciate the life she s always regretted of teenage pregnancy and dropping out of school Before I Die released four years after the earlier film and bearing an uncanny resemblance to it, is basically a much shallower and boring version of My Life Without Me I really wanted to like it, but frankly I think other books and films have done it better, such as My Sister s Keeper Before I Die has all of the usual drama of these terminal illness YA novels but none of the sympathetic characters or interesting side characters Tessa was especially unlikable she seems to use and do things to others that inevitably will damage them, and she has little regard for this Her big bucket wish list is to have sex which I suppose could be plausible if you re into that sort of thing but it doesn t make for good reading I was hoping her wish would be to do something big and kind for others, to go travelling somewhere special, etc and supposedly this makes her courageous She does have other things on her bucket list that are important and for her friends and family, but these things are often overshadowed by pettiness and Tessa s own frustrations Sorry, not my interest The book introduces other intriguing characters but we rarely get to hear a lot about them It s so focused on the main character s personal goal that it ignores potentially incredible characters and issues to stay within something a lot less deep I really tried to like Before I Die but it just wasn t the type of thing I m into.

  6. says:

    We know three pages into Before I Die that sixteen year old Tessa won t survive her leukemia and that there s plenty she still wants from life So she makes a list and vows to do everything on it before she dies.Like most teenagers, Tessa is at odds with her parents and angsty about how life s shortchanged her At first her ranting and left field demands seem too adolescent Isn t the looming presence of death supposed to mature her beyond her years But that s precisely the kind of dying young trope that Downham admirably resists throughout the novel Tessa burns up a maddening number of days moping when we think she should be fulfilling her dreams She finally pushes herself to face facts I have two choices stay wrapped in blankets and get on with dying, or get the list back together and get on with living Downham escapes the common shortcoming of many young adult novels in which the only character that ever really matters to us is the speaker In this novel, Tessa s relationships are so dynamic that we ache with her at the thought of losing them Throughout the book, their interactions thrum with tension and tenderness There s Cal, the tactless younger brother who helpfully explains the process of decomposition And Zoe, the careless best friend who has her own troubles to wake her up to life There s Dad in denial, determined to save Tessa through organic foods and fierce hugs Mom, who cut out about the time of Tessa s diagnosis and who remains slightly outside of the helping circle without becoming a monster And there s Adam, the blessing of love and vulnerability that lands next door to Tessa at the right time And where a lesser writer might swill us readers around in dying girl thought soup, Downham lets the telling detail speak for Tessa s feelings instead Her anger comes to us through her as she gives herself points for the imagined deaths of healthy strangers One point for the lump on her neck, raw and pink as a crab s claw We feel her hunger for life as she licks an ice cream stick until the wood rasps my tongue We know her true well wishes for those she loves as she dreams up a replacement for her boyfriend, a girl with lovely curves and breath like oranges There s nothing treacly here It s a brave, humanist novel, one that leaves the reader gulping the polluted, precious air of Tessa s world with a passion and astonishment almost as great as Tessa s Downham earns for us the catharsis of the ending, for her characters come to take up real space in our hearts Up until the last word, I think, we hope that Tessa will somehow, against all odds, keep breathing When she doesn t, we mourn for Tessa just as she wished by remembering her.

  7. says:

    Actual rating 3.5 starsTessa s been battling leukemia since the age of twelve But now, when Tessa is sixteen, the doctors have told her that further treatment is futile and that there isn t much they can do.Realizing that she ll not be able to do all of the things that normal girls get to, she makes a list of ten things she wants to do before she dies This list includes everything from sex to driving her father s car without a licence And even as the novel rushes toward its inevitably sad ending, you can t help but fall for Tessa s character and root for her even as she does the extreme, falls in love, and, ultimately, learns what it s like to really live Before I Die is definitely one of the most poignant and riveting novels I ve read in a long time This story is heartbreaking, beautifully written, and absolutely unforgettable The author does a wonderful job of bringing the reader s emotions to the surface I think I cried about five times during the last quarter of this.The thing is, you know from the very beginning that Tessa s going to die But even though the ending is expected, it still hurts Over the course of the novel you really grow attached to Tessa s character and want her to live almost as much as she does I won t divulge whom Tessa falls in love with, since the summary doesn t, but I will say this The romance in this is at once beautiful and bittersweet You want Tessa to have everything she s being denied because of her life being cut short, including a romance And she has one But it s hell on the heart of the reader.Despite the grimness of this story, I do believe that I ll re read it someday Not any time soon, of course, but definitely someday.I suggest to anyone that wants to read this that they wait until they re in the mood for something decidedly emotional and sad.FAVORITE QUOTE When I look at him it feels like fear His eyes are green and full of shadows His mouth is beautiful.He leans towards me and I know I know It hasn t happened yet, but it s going to Number eight is love On a side note, You Against Me is Jenny Downham s next novel, set to release September 13 in the US And if the writing in this is any indication, You Against Me should be amazing.

  8. says:

    I am very appreciative of my public library withdrawing books from their collection and selling them for 20c It was on my TBR too, so even better.This was a very sweet story, well written and a sincere rendition involving a sixteen year old girls end of life The author captured the angst and wistfulness of Tessa, who ambitiously sets herself a list of things to achieve before she dies Family relationships, sex, love and a little bit of recklessness, a best friend and an estranged mum all come together to create something that felt very real.I loved the relationship between brother and sister, and daughter and father There were many tender and touching scenes, and I was very sad as I turned the last page Innocent but heartfelt scenes of falling in love were realistic, and I think young girls would love this story This was still a light enough read given the heavy topic.

  9. says:

    Tessa has been treated for leukemia for the past four years Now, since her treatment options have been exhausted, she is spending her last few months completing a list of things she wants to do before she dies The list includes some predictable items breaking a few laws, driving, having sex and a few curveballs experiencing love, getting her parents back together but most of the book is dedicated to Tessa s experiences as she attempts to finish her list and come to terms with her death Have you ever seen that Dane Cook standup bit where he talks about how we cry He starts off talking about how you just start out crying and then it goes downhill from there as we imagine all the worst things possible to make us cry even harder I m not advocating Dane Cook s standup I m much of a Jim Gaffigan girl but I always laugh at Cook s crying bit because he s pretty spot on I read the first 50 pages of this when I was PMSing and I was like This is so awful It must be so terrible for Tessa and her family She ll never get to do x She ll never get to do y Oh my God, it must be terrible for these families Losing a child is horrible This is awful for her brother What if I lost MY brother What if I died What if one of my siblings died I miss my grandparents I can t believe I wasn t there for my friend when she lost x What will I do when I lose my parents and by this point I can t even open my eyes So, yeah, I put this one back down for a week Aaaand, when I picked it back up, I was able to complete most of the book with a straight face until the ending, when I totally lost it again But the point is that I was mostly crying because I exacerbated the situation by my own volition You might not cry in this one.The writing in this one is pretty solid but I m a little ashamed to say that Tessa is a frustrating character She has a right to be selfish but she goes beyond that she is often unnecessarily mean at times, mostly to her father Her mother, on the other hand, deserves all the meanness Tessa could dish out to her which, sadly, doesn t really happen It takes a certain type of horribleness to abandon your sick child It s hard to know what to do when people are sick, or how to help your friends when they are losing or have lost someone We are all pretty much winging it But just being there is often enough and Tessa s mother couldn t even be present for years of her daughter s illness She can join the father from another recent read of mine, Sisters in Sanity, in the Awful YA Parent Club I felt like the most interesting part of the book had nothing to do with Tessa s list or her budding love I most enjoyed her interactions with her brother The factoids they shared and the frank discussions about what happens when you die were so interesting to me I m still thinking about the way the author described being buried under an apple blossom tree I loved that bit And I also really enjoyed Tessa s notes to her family and Zoey These arent really spoilers, in case anyone is wondering I have no clue who I would recommend this to My Goodreads friends are all over the ratings scale and I m staking my flag down in the 3 star zone I guess if you enjoy books about death and dying, or if you are looking for a cry, this might be a good pick for you I mean, sometimes I watch Little Women just to cry when Beth dies We re all a little messed up at least, I hope it s not just me.

  10. says:

    This is a morbid little story Beautiful, but morbid I can t help thinking that the author demands instant literary kudos simply by dealing with the uncomfortable subject of teenage death Unfortunately, I don t think the novel quite deserves that kudos It provides no great profundity and, though poignant, I can t help but think it compares poorly to the 2003 movie, My Life Without Me.For a start, the central character, Tessa is hard to like There s a prickly sullenness about her that is particularly teenaged It s well observed, but other authors have managed to tease nuance from their teenage characters Her best friend, Zoey is even worse shallow and annoying Adam, the literal boy next door, is so gruff as to seem devoid of personality merely a prop to deliver Tessa a chance at romantic love before she dies.Since the novel s summary spoils a major plot point, I will also talk about it Zoey s pregnancy, a badly veiled authorial device life death, geddit , manages to glorify teen pregnancy Slutty, reckless Zoey could do with therapy to deal with her distant parents, some self esteem building, or simply the chance to grow up Instead, she gets a band aid baby Ironically, many of the things dying Tessa craves for herself the chance to go to university and travel the world Zoey is denied, rewarded instead with a council flat and vouchers to exchange for furnishings.Though well written, the novel is a bit predictable Tessa has sex with a stranger and it s bad then she falls in love and waxes rhapsodic about her second sexual experience She tries drugs and the author gets carried away with poetic descriptions of her drug induced state Blah blah blah It s a short book but it feels like a long slog to the inevitable conclusion.Sure, the ending made me cry But then, I also cried while listening to The Luckiest by Ben Folds yesterday Death is sad It doesn t take a great writer to squeeze pathos from teenage death.

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Before I Diecharacters Before I Die, audiobook Before I Die, files book Before I Die, today Before I Die, Before I Die 96edb The Story Of Tessa, A Young Teenage Girl Who Has Only Months To Live A Brilliantly Crafted Novel, Heartbreaking Yet Life AffirmingTessa Has Just Months To Live Fighting Back Against Hospital Visits, Endless Tests, 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, All Are Painfully Crystallised In The Precious Weeks Before Tessa S Time Finally Runs Out

About the Author: Jenny Downham

Jenny Downham born 1964 is a British novelist and an ex actor In her first book, Before I Die, the fictional account of the last few months of a sixteen year old girl who has been dying of leukemia for 4 years The book is told in the first person The book was acclaimed and was short listed for the 2007 Guardian Award and the 2008 Lancashire Children s Book of the Year, nominated for the 2008