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Before I Die Jenny Downham

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Submitted By jessicahannaford
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Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I Die by Jenny Downham is about a sixteen-year-old girl, Tessa Walker, who is dying from Leukaemia and has composed a list of ten things to do before she dies. It is quickly proven to her dismay that her list is more difficult than she had hoped for and the reader experiences, in her first hand account, her last few weeks of living. It is set in England in a town in modern day society. The novel shows aspects of relationships, love and time. It is a psychological novel and a love story that ends in tragedy and heart break.

The reason this book affected me so much is due to many factors, however a constant theme through the book is relationships. The relationships between herself and the little things in life, the important things, are what the reader can connect to on a personal level because they’re things most people endure everyday, this consists of: hugging your best friend, talking to your brother, eating your favourite food. This made me feel just how special I am, as the reader knows at the start of the book that she doesn’t have much longer to live. As she is released from the constraints of "normal" life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.

The book also makes me think not only about what I have, but what I should appreciate, the things that go un-noticed: The trees, the stars, the air we breathe, these things we can’t live without are yet things that aren’t keeping her alive. It is a beautiful yet tragic book that leaves you devastated, because of the sheer emotions the writer makes you feel, you go through the loss of what seems to be as best friend as you go through all the hardship of her life with her as it feels so real.

I connected to the book especially, as I have a younger brother much like Tessa, she treats her younger brother (Cal) like…...

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