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.
Before I Die is a brilliantly-crafted novel, heartbreaking yet astonishingly life-affirming. It will take you to the very edge.
©2007 Jenny Downham; (P)2009 Random House Audiobooks
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Wonderful audiobook. Not only the novel is great, but it was read in a wonderful way by Charlotte Parry. Parry makes it very easy to relate to the main character. It doesn't happen very often to me, but I actually shed some tears during the final chapter.
"Somehow not realistic..."
I know this is fiction, but the topic being what it is... I found I couldn't believe someone (in that situation) would think that way. I'm not talking about her list of things to do before she dies, but about her moment-to-moment thoughts. I just cannot relate to such a perception of objects and sounds, transformed into thoughts.
It's a book that makes readers ask themselves what they would do in that situation and what is really important in life for them. But such questions are easily born, after all, you don't need this book for that.
In the end, I did care enough for all the characters to feel sad and cry. But if the book hadn't been so short I would have probably abandoned it, as I also found it boring.
The narrator was good, making all the characters easily identifiable (they aren't many, anyway) and giving them life and personality beyond the written word. Added value, compared to the written text, I'd say. But I may have had a different perception of everyone's personality, given the freedom of imagination. The narration is an interpretation, after all.
"So moving and inspirational"
The most enjoyable thing about listening to this audiobook was the fact that the narrator used many different dialects and accents to help to portray the characters effectively.
I loved the interactions between Tessa and her family and friends. It really moved me.
I haven't listened to any of her other performances however after listening to this book I will be sure to do so.
There were many moments throughout the book that made me laugh, cry and really think and appreciate life. However I must say that the one moment that really moved me was the sequence of events just before Tessa died. The way she interacted with the ones she loved just before this point within the book was so poiniant and moving.
Overall, I feel this book is a must read. It made me laugh and cry and feel all the emotions of each character within it. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
"dying to live"
a beautiful story well written about some one dying but through out the story you realise how much they loved and lived and the lives they touched. I enjoyed this book even when it was sad
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