Book Review: Before I Die by Jenny Downham (Now Is Good)

This is a Young Adult Novel and deals with the topic of cancer and death.

Tessa has a rare form of Leukaemia and only has months to live. She makes a list of things she really wants to do before she dies. Her best friend Zoey is helping her achieving the things on her list. It all changes when Tessa falls in love and Zoey has some bad/good news of her own. I don’t want to give too much away for those who have not read the book or watched the film.

Tessa’s parents are separated but her illness brings them closer towards the end. Tessa also has a younger brother Call. Her boyfriend is Adam. He comes across as a very mature and strong young man for his age and sticks by Tessa right until the end.

It is made clear from the start of the book that there is no cure and we, as the readers know that Tessa will ultimately die in the end. Nevertheless the book is very moving. It makes you laugh at times and cry at times. The end of the novel is extremely moving and had me sobbing. I very rarely have a book evoke emotions from me but this book did. It made me realise that we should appreciate every day, tell the people we love how we feel often, and not miss a moment, not waste any time.

I know the book is written for young adults, but the message the book has is important for every age group. I know there have been many book written about teenage cancer in the past few years, but I recommend this one, as it is so beautifully written with a strong female protagonist and a very strong message. This book gets my 👍 thumbs up.

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