Before I Die by Jenny Downham.

Tessa doesn't quite know how to deal with her diagnosis. She lays in bed, goes from appointment to appointment and lives curled up in a blanket. Then she starts her list, with help of best friend Zoey, of things she would like to do and have before her time is up. A terminal diagnosis makes her act quickly, recklessly at times. While the friendship isn't all that steady, I can see Zoey as being an important constant in her life.

Within the first 20 or so pages there is sex, drugs, and clubbing. What more can you expect from a dying teen? Her behaviour spirals at times, since she is so desperate to live while she can. Her slightly overbearing father, estranged mother and younger brother disapprove but what can they do?

She meets a boy, his name is Adam and he's not all that pretty but wait until he smiles. Then wow. The book was so beautifully written I blushed every time Adam grinned. It was one of the best paced, most flowing and honest books I have ever encountered.

The last few chapters had me sobbing, as we watched Tessa's time run out slowly. The account was so moving and gripping I couldn't and didn't want to put the book down. She came alive to me and passed in front of my eyes in a way I will never forget. I fell for Tessa for all those pages. And I ask you go and meet her too.


Published by Phoebe Paperchains