Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I Die

byJenny Downham

Kobo ebook | September 25, 2008

Pricing and Purchase Info


Available for download

Not available in stores


For the many readers who love The Fault in Our Stars, this is the story of a girl who is determined to live, love, and to write her own ending before her time is finally up.

Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints
of “normal” life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time runs out.

A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year
Booklist Editors’ Choice
A Book Sense Children’s Pick
Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice
Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author
An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults

The newly released feature film Now Is Good, starring Dakota Fanning, is based on Jenny Downham's intensely moving novel.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Title:Before I DieFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 25, 2008Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0375849378

ISBN - 13:9780375849374


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book was an experience. This book was written so beautiful, so poetic. Took me on a journey of emotions from excitement, to desperate, to melancholy. Touching and taught me so much about love, life and family at a young age. A must read.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely It was a bit slow but the writing was beautiful and once the plot picked up and the characters began to develop, it really pulled me in. Sad but beautiful. You know how its going to end before you even begin, but the way she wrote it is heartbreaking. It's a book that really opens your eyes about living life. It's amazing and should be read.
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The concept was good This book fell flat on so many levels. It was poorly written and it jumped around from thought to thought without any sort of connection. I also felt that some of the characters were acting inappropriately in certain situations but what bothered me the most was that it was hard to feel anything for the main character, you know, the one who's sick and dying...
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Before I Die Raw believable emotions throughout. A wonderful novel.
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Before I Die It wonderfully captures the struggles of a person actively dying and all that they still want to achieve.
Date published: 2017-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from touching, heartbreaking and beautifully written While I knew how this book was going to end just based off of the title alone, I didn't think it would leave me as emotional as it did. Like others, I wasn't very fond of the main character, Tessa, or her best friend for various reasons (it seemed like tessa's illness was such an inconvenience to zoey). The switch in writing towards the end was absolutely beautiful. An impressive debut book by Downham.
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book I've ever read This book gave me a new appretiation for life, definity a must read. Its raw characters allow you to relate and feel the same emotions
Date published: 2015-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bittersweet This book was absolutely breathtaking! If you have the chance to get your hands on it, I highly suggest reading it. It is so inspirational and shows you the rawness of what it is like to live knowing that you could possibly die.
Date published: 2013-06-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Emotional This was a very touching book, I found a new outlook on life that you should never stop living and savor every second that you receive.
Date published: 2012-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such a good book! Quite the page-turner, I didn't want to stop reading it, It's not very long, but you learn a lot through out the book, you learn just how valuable life really is, and it was a sweet book :) very touching, but interesting, I would of liked to hear a little about the other characters at the end, but that's about it!
Date published: 2012-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from TEARFUL i could not put this book down. without having the experience of having someone i love die in front of me, Downham somehow found a way to make me feel and react the same as if i did have someone dying.
Date published: 2011-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Truly Heartfelt Sixteen-year-old Tessa has been diagnosed with cancer and its terminal-she IS going to die. Tessa decides to make a list of all the things that she wants to experience and do before her final day comes and first on her list is: sex!! As the story proceeds, Tessa continues to work off her list one by one interspersed with visits to doctor’s offices, hospital stays for transfusions and other medical procedures. Keeping true to her list is her main priority. Her younger brother Cal can be a pain in the butt but deep down he loves his sister, and Zoey, Tessa’s zany friend is a weird one for sure. Unfortunately, her parents are divorced but Tessa lives with her Dad who attends all her appointments with her and holds her hand during yet another lumbar puncture, a very painful procedure. Her mother is somewhat distant and Tessa doesn’t ever remember her mother telling her that she loves her. In the mix she finds a love truer than she ever thought possible but at the same time realizes that it’s not always easy getting what you want and that what you want isn’t always what you need. By the end of the book I was literally bawling my eyes out. Her death was written beautifully but I was so emotionally involved in the story that I felt I was standing by the side of all the family members as she took her last breath. The book was uplifting and not written at all in a sad, cold, detached way that many novels about death are written, but it was rather life-affirming and happy if that’s possible to believe. As with any death, it is painful, but that of a child or teenager is even more so. Great read!!
Date published: 2011-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from really packs a punch Sixteen year old, Tessa, is dying. She’s been sick with leukemia since she was 12, but there’s nothing more they can do for her. When Jenny Downham’s moving novel Before I Die opens, Tessa has decided to make a list of all the things she wants to do before she leaves the earth. Right off the top, she wants to have sex. Tessa is a believable character, sullen and bitchy one minute and hopeful and loving the next. She lives with her dad and younger brother, Cal. Her mother left the family to follow another man to Scotland. The relationship didn’t work out and she’s in the neighbourhood, but Tessa’s care is really left to her father, who has given up work to stay homelook after Tessa. Before I Die is a book about living the best way you can with the time you have. There’s a lesson in there for all of us. When Tessa meets Adam, the boy next door, her world starts to expand. When her best friend, Zoey, finds herself pregnant, Tessa has something to look forward to. Ultimately, though, this is a novel about dying and the last twenty pages or so are among the most moving I have ever read.
Date published: 2011-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Read this book before you die This is a book about a girl named Tessa, who is terminally ill with Cancer. Knowing she is going to die, she creates a list of 10 things that she will do before she dies. This story really makes you appreciate life and the small things that come with it. It is a potential tear jerker and has an ending that will leave you thinking about it for a while. Definately worth the read but I picked this one up at the library rather than buying it which i'm glad I did. An inspirational read, nonetheless.
Date published: 2010-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great read, very sad!! This book was a little hard to get started on, but once you get into it you wont be able to put it down. The ending is eneviatble, but this book just keeps you hoping. Was one of the saddest books ive ever read :'(
Date published: 2009-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book was so well written! It was funny and sad and happy. It makes you think about what you would do if you only had a few months to live. And how you would live you final moments. Tessa finds love in the book, and it just makes it more sad cause she is dying, Great read for everyone! It was one of my staff picks! :)
Date published: 2008-10-02