Book Review: Before I Die

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

I was given this ARC by our YA librarian shortly after I read Thirteen Reasons Why, but I put off reading it - both deal with teen death, and I didn't want to dilute my experience of Thirteen in any way.

In this novel, Londoner Tessa is dying of leukemia, and has a list of things to do before she dies - sex, drugs, breaking the law, and saying yes to everything for a day. This novel follows the last few months of her life, but without sentimentality or treacly subtext. At times, you hate Tessa, and at times you root for her to magically get better, but you have to finish her story, either way.

This is a well written, moving novel - far above all those Lurlene McDaniel novels from when *I* was a kid about teens dying.

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