I read. I read. I read.

Before I Die

Before I Die - Jenny Downham Sweetly sad. Tess is dying from the moment we meet her. Her resolve to make a list and run it down before she runs down works in this story. It isn't some sappy, bucket-list plot device but rather a hopeful, funny, and resolute way for Tess to finish out her short life. Outside of Tess, who is strong enough for the lot of us, the men in this story provide the strength. Tess' mom, her best friend, and her neighbor are all present but faded. This could have been a paper cut-out of the same 'teen is dying of cancer' story I've read many times, but it moved a bit beyond that because there isn't ever a hope that Tess will live beyond the last page. She's grounded in that reality and so is the reader.