Teens’ Top Ten Nominee for 2008: Before I Die by Jenny Downham

What would you do if, at only 16, you learned that you had only a few months left to live? What experiences would you want to have before you died?

Tess, a British teenager, has been diagnosed with leukemia and knows she does not have much time left to live. She makes a to-do list: have sex, commit a crime, become famous, reunite her parents, fall in love. While she may be able to check off most of the items on her list, some of them may not turn out quite the way she plans. This book, told in first person, is her journal of what happens as she desperately tries to have a few thrilling moments before the end. As her story unfolds, she makes you laugh, cry, and then laugh again. Have tissues handy!

Although this book is about dying, reading it may ultimately make you feel more alive than ever.

Before I Die is a nominee for the 2008 Teens’ Top Ten. To read more about the Teens’ Top Ten program, click here. To request this book from the library, click here. And don’t forget to place your vote during Teen Read Week, October 12-18, 2008.

Review by Kim @ Southeast Regional Library

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