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Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown


  • Zooey's character development

  • Tessa and Zooey were disagreeable characters
    Rating: 2.5 stars

    Tessa has just a few months to live. 

    Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, 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, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out. 

    That movie, Now is Good is what really made me pick up this book. Due to my recent K-pop infatuation, I watched a music video by Ailee, and it featured that said movie. I was intrigued and before I read any movie, I had to of course, read the book first!

    The character development of Zooey for me was very uplifting. I really disliked this book at the start because of Zooey and her carefree, reckless attitude to life. However, once she gets pregnant, she gradually turns to be a mature adult. For Tessa though, I didn't feel as if there was much character development. In fact, I'd even say that she gets worse towards the end, her bitterness constricting me from the novel.

    I'm writing this review a few days after I read this book, and I'm finding that I still linger on some bits, like what happens after the book? I guess this is one of those books that you'd love to have a sequel to, but you don't at the same time.

    I'd say that this is a 2.5 stars of 5 for me. I understood some of the intentions behind what Tessa did throughout the book, but I really couldn't condone much else, such as the illicit shoplifting, etc. It didn't make me weep as much as I predicted either....

    Keep reading and loving

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