Before I Die

I’m almost more interested in the fact that David Fickling is publishing this book at great speed, than what the book is like. It’s about death, and I wonder if death is in at the moment. It’s not the only one out this summer.

Everyone is raving about Before I Die, by new writer Jenny Downham. And it is a very good book. It’s about sixteen-year-old Tessa who is dying, and what she does with her last months in life. Tessa has a list and she follows it point by point, until she discovers what she really wants.

It’s a very thought provoking story, because it makes you think what you’d do in her place. I can understand Tessa, but I can’t identify with her, because my list would be very different. But it’s touching, and I don’t expect any reader to emerge dry-eyed.

As I said, it’s also interesting that a book can be published so fast, when books tend to take an age getting anywhere at all. You’d have thought computers could speed up the whole process, But I suppose it’s commercial interests that slow things down again. Whether the speed caused any of the few, but to my mind irritating, details that look wrong, I don’t know.

It’s a book everyone could do with reading.

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