Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Edition: ARC ; Other Shelf Tours
Page Count: 198
Pub. Date: January 5, 2010
Reading Challenge: Young Adult
My Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Amazon.com: 4 stars
Goodreads: 4.07 (Average)
Recommended For: YA and Adult readers. Fans of books dealing with real life issues.
My Summary & Thoughts:
By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead is about a 15-year old girl who is determined to commit suicide. This time for good.
It's been a year since Daelyn's last suicide attempt which rendered her speechless and living in a neck brace. And life continues to go in a downward spiral. So it's time to try again. She stumbles upon a website called "Through-the-Light", which is dedicated to helping people become complete in their attempts to end their lives. Using the forums on her newly discovered sanctuary, she reveals the torment and ridicule she endured as a child all because she was fat. The lies, the hate, the secrets - all unburdened so she can finally gain some peace.
Then one day while waiting for her mother on the stone bench outside of school, a boy named Santana with bleach blond hair makes every attempt to befriend her. And Daelyn does her best to ignore him. Until, somehow, someway, the boy begins to soften the fortified wall that Daelyn has surrounded herself in. But is it too little too late?
By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead is a very thought-provoking book on many different levels. There's a lot of layers to peel back with this one.
Formulated mostly on dialogue, the words are both powerful and heartbreaking. At the beginning the prose is short and concise. But as the story progresses, and a little light begins to show in Daelyn's dark world, the sentence structure becomes more open, more revealing. I really grew to love Santana in all his unrelenting, pesky glory. The boy provided much needed humor in an otherwise sad and heavy tale. And the ending will be a personal choice. Some may love it, some may not, but I felt Julie did a wonderful job closing out the book.
Overall consensus: I didn't really know what to expect when I first started By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead. I expected it to be emotional, and it was, but it just didn't have the same affect on me that it did others. A heavy subject to be sure, with raw and real emotion, but I would have liked to have seen it expanded upon. There was just enough to make it a worthy read but not enough to fully satiate my reading appetite. And I won't lie, this book is a bit of a downer (I think the title kind of implies that) but there is a powerful message to relay - that words are indeed a powerful force and can cause some major damage if we aren't careful. This is definitely a book that should be read by both teens and adults.