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Download Before I Die Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Before I Die Audiobook, by Jenny Downham Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.04 out of 54.04 out of 54.04 out of 54.04 out of 54.04 out of 5 4.04 (26 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jenny Downham Narrator: Charlotte Parry Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2007 ISBN: 9780739362891
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For the many readers who love The Fault in Our Stars, this is the story of a girl who is determined to live, love, and to write her own ending before her time is finally up.

Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her “To Do Before I Die” list. And number one is sex. Released from the constraints of “normal” life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Starred Review, Publisher's Weekly, August 6, 2007
    "The eloquent dying teen can seem a staple of the YA novel, but this British debut completely breaks the mold. Downham holds nothing back in her wrenching and exceptionally vibrant story."
  • Review, Entertainment Weekly, September 21, 2007
    "Bound For Glory: This fall, five young authors deliver breakout books packed with razor-sharp writing."
  • Review, Entertainment Weekly, September 28, 2007
    "In luminous prose that rings completely true, Downham earns every tear she wrings from her readers. I trust there will be many of them—many readers, and of course, many tears. A-"
  • Review, NYTBR, October 14, 2007:
    "This may sound too depressing for words, but it is only one indication of the inspired originality of Before I Die, by Jenny Downham, that the reader can finish its last pages feeling thrillingly alive ... I don't care how old you are. This book will not leave you.
    John Burnham Schwartz
  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2007
    "Lucid language makes a painful journey bearable, beautiful and transcendent."
  • “The eloquent dying teen can seem a staple of the YA novel, but this British debut completely breaks the mold. Downham holds nothing back in her wrenching and exceptionally vibrant story.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Lucid language makes a painful journey bearable, beautiful, and transcendent.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan | 2/19/2014

    " really great vocab and metaphors "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucia Gutierrez | 2/13/2014

    " I truly love this book. This is the story of a young teen girl who is dieing little by little. She decides that she will make a list, a list that she will accomplish to do before she died. In her list she did not put fall in love but she did. She falls in love with a boy this motivates her to live. She now has a reason to live for. In the end she dies but having accomplished everything she wanted. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 7703ona | 2/9/2014

    " This book was definitely not my favorite. It was okay. This realistic-fiction book is good for a reader who is looking for a laid-back, easy read. This is a story about a 16-year-old girl with lung cancer who creates a bucket list and sets out to fulfill the things on the list she wants to do. I didn't particularly like this book because it was not challenging enough for me. This is a fifth or sixth grade level book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Barlow | 1/25/2014

    " I enjoyed this book once it got going. For 2 thirds of it I flitted between wanting to slap her face and wanting to give her a hug. I wouldn't wish cancer on my worst enemy, what she's going through is so cruel and so terrible I found it hard not to feel awful for her but boy is she a brat! I have teen daughters and they can push you right to your limits but oh my God her poor dad!! What a wonderful, strong, patient man. Thankfully I've never been in a situation like this so I don't know how I or my family would cope with any of us being so sick. This book was very real and not at all sugar coated, it made me count my blessings. I sort of grew to love Tessa and understand her as the book went on. I'm just glad she met Adam at all even though they didn't have much time. Not a feel good story but all in all, a good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Breanna Robinson | 1/22/2014

    " This book was absolutely AMAZING!!! Before I read this book,I didn't know how powerful this book would truly be. This book is about a 16 year old girl who is living out the last few months of her life. I couldn't stop reading this book, which doesn't happen often. It defiantly brought out alot of sadness in me, but in a good way. It just makes you appreciate your life so much more, because there are people who are less fortunate. I defiantly recommend this book to everyone no matter what age. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Flavia Barbiero | 1/21/2014

    " I'm not one of those who cry when they read a book, but somehow, it happened after I finished Befor I Die. The last few pages were really really sad and full of emotions, and I cried a little bit. The book itself isn't that amazing, but I really liked the ending of it. If you only like happy endings, don't read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meagan | 1/21/2014

    " At first I didn't know if I'd like the book. Very Brit with lots of knicker talk and bloody this and that. Also it get's a bit sentimental for my taste. But I still managed to love it. I loved how honest it felt. How real. Frustrating for a sixteen-year-old to deal with death. Also, I liked the writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaxy | 1/17/2014

    " I really loved this book! It's great because it's the perspective from Tessa, who has cancer, rather than all these books which come from the ones effect by loosing a person. I couldn't put it down, it's a book I've now read many times! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emilie Valentiner | 11/22/2013

    " beautiful book1 It made me cry "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 11/4/2013

    " This book was horrible .. I cried so much. Totally heartfelt. Amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah Fielding | 12/26/2012

    " Such a moving book. Beautiful - and I love the innocence and simplicity of the romance. The writing is powerful and poignant, particularly towards the end as the character deteriorates. All in all, a wonderful read - but certainly not uplifting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Victoria | 12/22/2012

    " A good book. Definitely worth reading. Makes you think about what you want from life. A nice touch that you know she's going to die through the whole book, cause then you pay attention to everything that happens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 2/15/2012

    " Interesting concept, what would your bucket list contain, if you knew you had a limited amount of time to live. Something everyone ponders at some point. The main character faces this dilemma at a very young age. This book is heart wrenching to say the least. Beautiful read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Giulia | 1/8/2012

    " WARNIG: READ WITH TISSUE BOX HANDY "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Van de Voorde | 12/26/2011

    " Really good book. Very touching "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fannie | 11/26/2011

    " wow what an incredible book, i was skeptical at the beginning but this is a really good story i never cry reading a book but this one brought tears to my eyes. it's an eye oppener, i usually read real fast but it took me a while because the story felt so real i recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 5/22/2011

    " Unforgettable. I cried harder than I have at any other book - even The Lovely Bones. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tassy | 5/22/2011

    " beautiful book, i don't think i've ever cried as much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 5/18/2011

    " This is the first book that made me actually sobbed. i love this book because it's so emotional and i get so into it when i'm reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelby | 5/15/2011

    " I thought this book was amazing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 5/12/2011

    " Such a sad book, but it was very insightful and most definitely made me cry!
    Not my usual genre, but fancied a change. Very good book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becka | 5/11/2011

    " a truly moving and beautiful story "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 5/10/2011

    " this is such a beautiful book, I finished it a few months ago now but I still think about the story and the message behind it even now. Such an amazing book, but will make you cry! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ivette | 5/8/2011

    " amazin book!!!! love it, even if it made me cry...
    great story, great characters "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katherine | 5/8/2011

    " It was not what I expected. I expected more romance. It was really sad though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenna | 5/1/2011

    " This book really makes you appreciate being a healthy human being and makes you think outside your normal everyday life. Very unique and sad at some points. Ending was very depressing, great to-read book. Recommend to all, ages 14+. "

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About the Author
Author Jenny DownhamJenny Downham trained as an actor and worked in alternative theater before starting to write. She lives in London.
About the Narrator

Charlotte Parry has performed in several Broadway plays, including the revival of The Winslow Boy and The Importance of Being Earnest. Also an accomplished narrator, she has read several audiobooks for Recorded Books and Random House.