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The intensely moving and uncompromisingly honest story of 16-year-old Tessa, who is dying of leukaemia. A word-of-mouth bestseller, and now a major film starring Twilight's Dakota Fanning.
Jenny Downham was an actress for many years before concentrating on her writing full-time. She lives in London with her two sons. Her debut novel Before I Die was critically acclaimed and was shortlisted for the 2007 Guardian Award and the 2008 Lancashire Children's Book of the Year, nominated for the 2008 Carnegie Medal and the 2008 Booktrust Teenage Prize, and won the 2008 Branford Boase Award.
"Dealing frankly with teenage life, Before I Die will be the year's most talked-about novel . . . Novels for young teenagers do not usually feature drugs and casual sex within the first 20-odd pages. But most books for teenagers will not leave an adult reader's eyes so blurry with tears that it's hard to see the final chapters. Jenny Downham's extraordinary first novel does both" * The Sunday Times * "Downham's prose is brave and bare, her characters relentlessly realistic" -- Dinah Hall * Sunday Telegraph * "Destined to drive hundreds of thousands of readers to tears and to swift injunctions to all their friends to read it" * Observer * "A novel that won't fail to touch those who read it, and despite the melancholy subject matter it manages to be hugely life-affirming. A book that will make you happy to be alive. 5 stars" -- Jo Hoare * Heat * "A work of great humanity and profound empathy. I defy anyone not to cry reading this book" * Daily Express *