Thursday, 17 June 2010

Book Thoughts: Before I Die

I decided I wanted to share a book that I love. A book with a personal story behind it.

I'd been editing my MS for about a month. No one knew. No one had read it (other than me)because I was scared out of my mind.

Then I read this:

The book is about a teenage girl called Tessa with a few months to live. Tessa writes a list. A To Do list. Full of things to do before she dies. You know, the usual stuff: have sex, go to a club, visit certain places. And she sets off on a journey of self discovery, love and life.

There is an awkward first time sex experience, an estranged mother, and a love interest who isn't a gorgeous sparkly God. Add in a best friend who can be a bit of a bitch and who....nah, I promised no spoilers.

Tessa captured my attention from the first page. Her voice is sometimes biting, bitter, hopeful and raw but always honest. A teenager experiencing life while her body fails her.

I love books that grab hold of me and won't let go. I've read very few books that I can't stop thinking about once I've read them. Even fewer that make me cry. * By this I mean blub in epic proportions *

This book made me a tiny bit braver.

It helped me decide to push forward with my writing. To do the things I wanted rather than just dreaming about them. I joined Query Tracker and I started my blog. I thank Tessa for giving me the courage to start my journey. Not just dream about it.

At least that's one of the things ticked off my list. :)

"This is an affecting and brave novel...a reminder to value the people that matter, seize the moment, wish with courage, adventure with relish, even if it's just a trip to the swimming pool, drinking hot chocolate or driving down a duel carriageway in the rain." The Guardian


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Did you take my advice? I love to hear about how books influence writers. Sounds like this one was a catch. See, that's what makes me want to read a book review and make me purchase a book. Excellent! Thanks, Lindsay!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Jessica. Yeah, I took your advice. *big hugs of thanks* Your point about making a review about a book personal -that influenced me, that I loved - really hit home.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Yay!!! So glad :o) It makes reading a review so much more pleasing. Thank you! xx

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Aww, this post gave me shivers. I love books that make an impact on my life. And courage is a funny thing, isn't it? A lot of the time, if I'm not doing something, I have to remind myself that it's because I'm too frightened. Once it becomes a challenge, I know I have to face it - maybe it's my competitive side. :)
Anyway, this was an excellent review. :) I'm definitely interested in that book now. And what a gorgeous cover!

Vicki Rocho said...

There are a gazillion and one reviews out there. I like the ones that make it personal more than critical.

A dying teenager? (sniffle) I think I need to go wake mine up and give her a hug!

Christina Lee said...

wow sounds awesome--the MC in the book's journey (and your own) *wink*.

JustineDell said...

So then you got your mojo back? ;-) Good to hear!

I'm curious, the book sounds really good, but doesn't it have a sad ending? I don't read books that have a sad ending. I stay bummed for days! It sounds like it would.


Anonymous said...

great post lindsay! I loved it! I can hear how much this book means to you and it definitely makes me want to go and get a copy! I love books that pull me in and change me somehow, it sounds like this one did for you, and Im glad that you could share this experience with us! :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I loved this book too, Lindsay. But I'd never thought about it that way (the check list) until you mentioned it. But I guess that's because I was already pouring myself into my writing (just not my blog at that point), so I didn't see it as part of a list. Writing fiction is something I do. It's part of me . . . like my addiction to chocolate. Only, I can live (for a short time) without chocolate. ;)

Palindrome said...

What a great story! I wish I could remember what really inspired me to write or keep writing...

I love this though, it inspires me and makes me proud to know such a beautiful person. :)

Jaydee Morgan said...

I love hearing that books inspire others. Isn't that why we make an impact on others? Excellent post :)

Julie Musil said...

Thanks for letting me know about this book. I've added it to my reading list!

Matthew Rush said...

What a great story (about how it affected you) thanks for sharing Lindsay!

Talli Roland said...

I've heard of this one and I keep forgetting to buy it. Thanks for the reminder - I must read it!

Christ is Write. said...

Hey! Love your blog. Just wanted to let you know that I have awarded you! :) God bless


Amparo Ortiz said...

I feel very lucky to know firsthand how much talent you have, Lindsay. Thanks for sharing your awesome writing journey. The fact that such a wonderful book inspired you to live the way you want truly touched me. Now let's go make that dream happen!

DaniSue said...

I've picked up this book before but never bought, but I'm definitely going to read it now! I love reading books that are inspiring :)

Lisa_Gibson said...

What a superb review! Don't you just love books that leave you a changed person. They are the ones I truly internalize and hold onto. I will be sure to add this to my reading list.

Samantha Bennett said...

"This book made me a tiny bit braver." Absolutely the way I feel about all of my favorite reads. Now I want to check this one out! Thanks for sharing. :)

WritingNut said...

It sounds very inspiring - I am going to add it to my TBR pile. I need that push right now. I'm still terrified of having anyone read my MS.

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like a powerful book - one of those that really touch your heart.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Bethany. Yeah, courage is really weird sometimes. I have to remind myself I'm frightened too. lol. I'm so glad you enjoyed the review. It is a beautful cover. :)

Vicki. I'm gad you liked it. Give your teenager a huge hug. You won't be thanked for waking her up though. :)

Christina. lol. Thanks.

Justine. Yeah, I think I got my mojo back. :) It does have a sad ending, but good sad. I wasn't bummed out after it, I felt...hopeful. Inspired. She lived her life to the full.

missali. Thank you. It is a really good book. I agree with you about loving books that change you. Words are such a powerful tool.

Stina. I'm glad you loved it too.
Love the chocolate comment. I'm the same. I see writing as a part of me too. I've always written, but never really thought I was brave enough to try to get an agent, etc.

Palindrome. "I love this though, it inspires me and makes me proud to know such a beautiful person. :)"
Aww, you are so sweet to say that. Thank you.

Jaydee. I agree. Inspiring others and, hopefully, making an impact is one of the reasons I write.

Julie. You're welcome. Let me know if you enjoy it. I'd love to know your thoughts on it.

Matthew. Aww, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Talli. You're welcome. I hope you do get it, I think its fab. :)

Tessa.Thank you for the kind words about my blog, and the award. :)

Amparo. Aww, don't make me cry. *sniff* Yeah, lets make the dream happen...for both of us. :)

DaniSue. I really hope you enjoy it. It's a sad book, but good sad. If thant makes sense? lol.

Lisa. Thanks for the kind words. I agree. I love the way some books change us forever. Powerful writing inspires me to want to be a better person. And a better writer.

Samantha. I love the way some books can do that to a reader. :)

WritingNut. It is inspiring. I hope you enjoy it. Don't be terrified of anyone read your MS. I promise, the reaction is worse in your head than reality.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Jemi. Great sentiments. Very true. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

We need reminders to realize how lucky we are to be alive and healthy. The book sounds amazing.

Bird by Bird, a how-to writing book mentions writing like you're dying, so you don't waste time. The author lost a friend to cancer, and it came up a lot throughout the book.

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