Sunday, 9 March 2008

For Older Teens

Finished March 8
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Tessa is sixteen years old and dying of leukemia. But there are so many things she hasn't experienced and together with her friend, Zoey, she aims to do some of them while she can.
Tessa lives with her Dad, and her little brother, Cal, with her mother living in an apartment nearby. She feels frustrated and angry with her situation and sometimes takes out those feelings on her family who struggle to understand.
Tessa starts with a list of ten things she wants to do before she dies, the first of which is sex. Zoey helps her achieve some of these experiences, and for others she turns to her family and the young man next door who has his own issues, and learns that sometimes getting what you want isn't as good as you thought it might be. She also finds out that some things are more important than she thought. As we travel with Tessa down her final few months of life, we are touched by her strength, her frailty, and her too short life.
I was weeping by the end of this one.

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