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before i dieJudul: Before I Die

Pengarang: Jenny Downham

Penerbit: Black Swan (Paperback, 2008)

Halaman: 346 p

Beli di: Kinokuniya Ngee Ann City, Singapore (SGD 21.40)

Reading this book reminds me a lot of the feeling I had when reading Ways To Live Forever or A Walk To Remember. The plot is similar, about a young person who’s dying of cancer, and struggling to live her last days to the fullest. What makes me enjoy this book in particular is the beautiful language the author used to describe everyday’s tidbits.

The falling leaves. The snow. Birds whispering. Colour of the sky. Even the taste of milk and strawberry. Every little thing makes you feel grateful that you’re still alive, and able to enjoy all the luxuries life could offer.

Tessa is a 16 years old teenage girl, with only few months left to live. Between her struggles, she also made some kind of list about things she should do before she dies. Some of the points are silly and rebellious, like having sex with strangers and trying drugs. But the author could describe Tessa’s feeling with such innocenceĀ  (although what she does is not so-called innocent at all!), sometimes making us laugh with the childish side of her.

But there are lots of lessons to learn, too. About the abundance of love we have in life, even if our time is running out. How Tessa’s father sacrificed his life for his daughter, even though her mother isn’t always around. How Tessa finds the beautiful meaning of falling in love, and tries to absorb the feeling as long as she could. How her brother copes with losing his sister.

There are many forms of love, but what strikes me the most from this story is how we learn to love our own life. Cherish every moment. Because it’s amazing. And beautiful.