Book 14: Before I Die by Jenny Downham – 327 pages
Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
For the many readers who love The Fault in Our Stars, this is the story of a girl who is determined to live, love, and to write her own ending before her time is finally up. 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 runs out.
This novel is pegged as having similarities to The Fault in Our Stars. And it does: a dying teenage, a romance, a quick, easy read. But The Fault in Our Stars has more charisma than this novel. That’s not to say its bad - its readable and relatively enjoyable - I read most of it on a flight to America - but it didn’t necessarily blow my mind. Tessa is dying, and there is nothing is going to change that. So she writes a list of things she wants to do before she dies. Sex is one of them, and needless to say, an attractive and willing teenage boy turns up at the right moment. Probably the best part of this book, from a storytelling perspective, is the death scene at the end, which is well written, balances emotions well, and feels real (at least from my perspective given I have no experience with dying!). Beyond that, for me, The Fault in Our Stars is a better book. Nonetheless, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars and is wanting more of the same.
14 / 50 books. 28% done!
6509 / 15000 pages. 43% done!
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