i realize that’s a potentially misleading post title. but i’ve taken to titling posts that are book reviews with only the title of the book. so…
before i die, by jenny downham.
as i said earlier, i’ve been reading some young adult (YA) fiction lately, keeping up on the kids. this one was on a list i found of the best juvenile fiction of 2007. it’s the first-person narrative of a 15 year-old girl in england who is dying of leukemia. she makes a list of things she wants to do before she dies: some what you would expect (sex, drugs, fame); others are more unique (a day when she has to say yes to every request made of her). she finds she’s only really living when she’s working on the list, though she still slips into lethargy and, understandably, feeling sorry for herself for days and weeks at a time.
it’s a nice insight into the mind of a teenager in crisis, and the voice is very real. there’s too much sex for me to recommend it to teens, unfortunately, but is a nice read for youth workers. i could, i should say, see giving it to a teenager with a terminal illness and reading it with him/her.