Before I Die by Jenny Downham

You know that feeling, when tears begin to threaten to appear in your eyes, and you feel that hart knot in your stomach as you gulp down that lump in your throat? Well that is exactly how this novel left me feeling as the last page turned…
About the plot

Tessa, as you can probably tell from the title, has not very long to live. The novel marks her dealing with the reality of death, or leaving her family behind, and her completing tasks that she has set herself. A bucket list, in a way. So many things on her list leave her disappointed, like sex and breaking the law – but the one thing she didn’t think she’d achieve turns out to be the most liberating thing of all. Love. 
Why you should read it & my personal response.

Now, I a big baby. I well up at babies being born on One Born Every Minute, my little brothers playing nicely together on a hot, happy day makes me blub like a baby. I even get wet eye syndrome watching fireworks. Why? Because I feel so lucky. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to find out you have a terminal illness, and the narrative of this novel is so utterly convincing that it is hard not to get emotionally involved. The novel is a roller-coaster of emotions, but it is real. It gives an insight into the lives of those who aren’t as lucky – whose lives are cut short.

The plot isn’t predictable, and the protagonist isn’t created as an image of perfection. None of the characters are perfect, they all have flaws and they all struggle to come to terms with the reality that they face, just like you and I would. I would definitely recommend this book – I literally read it in a couple of hours, not putting it down once. It drags you in and holds on until it has well and truly finished with you. It’s not always a bad thing – it is a great read.

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