Dec 20, 2007
Before I Die, Jenny Downham
This book is sooooooooooo saaaaaaaaad. I think I cried through at least 1/2 of it. But somehow, and I can't exactly describe it, it is not depressing. Sad but not depressing. Reviewers called it "uplifting" and I wouldn't go that far, but I think we can all learn something - about grace, forgiveness, peace, and all that jazz - from Tess.
Tess is dying. She's got lukemia, and she is going to die. It is only a matter of time, and before she does die, there's a few things Tess wants to experience. So she makes a list - a really really daring list, enlists the help of the only real friend she has left (everyone else treats her like she needs to be pitied, or handled like glass, or is contagious), and goes to it.
Along the way, Tess is still a teenager - by no means a perfect girl. But she is honest and open and lets us know how it is, how it might be, and how to go through it.