Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review: By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters


23 DAYS AND COUNTING

Dear

- Mother
- Father
- Other

There was nothing you could to stop me because:

- I'd already made up my mind
- I have been suffering my whole life
- you were too slow to notice

I offed myself because:

- my life sucks
- the world sucks
- you suck

Good-bye,
Daelyn

Daelyn has tried to commit suicide a few times, and failed. But she wants to die, and this time she's determined to see it through. She finds a website for 'completers' called Through The Light, and through it she reveals the bullying she has endured practically all of her life. Now she has a date she is determined to die by, and she knows how she's going to do it. All she has to do is get through these last days. Then she meets Santana, a boy who sits with her every afternoon while she waits for her parents to pick her up after school. No matter how she tries to ignore him or make him go away, Santana does not give up. Daelyn doesn't want to form any new relationships however, so is it too late?

I'm still trying to come up with the right words for this book. It is heart-breaking and amazingly well done. I read this in one sitting, and it has stayed with me long after the final page was turned. I couldn't sleep the night I read it because it was playing so much on my mind. Part of me wishes I'd been able to put it down every once in a while, just to catch my breath, but I simply couldn't - I ignored the whole world, I was so lost in this.

I felt for Daelyn, I truly did, but it never felt like it was enough. Knowing her the way Peters reveals her through the story, I felt ineffectual, like her parents. I couldn't relate to her, really, and so in all honesty, she terrified me. She was so sure and accepting, even though sometimes it was a front. Still, I had hope. I loved Santana, he is such a charater - certainly I could not ignore him as long as Daelyn was able! I had an inkling of his story, but I still wasn't prepared. Their relationship is what kept the pages turning for me more than my need to know how it would end. They were so connected, and yet so different.

Peters threw some heavy punches with this book, more than once to the gut. The truth behind Daelyn's suicide attempts left me gasping...that someone could not only want to, but actually be able to do the things she did to herself. The suicide information at the end of the book brings home just how real it is, and it is that that stayed with me after I'd finished reading...as I hope it does for everyone who has read or will read By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead.

Rating:

I found the cover beautiful when I first saw it. I suppose I still do, but it means a lot more once you've read the book.

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