Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her Ten Things 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, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out. Before I Die is a brilliantly-crafted novel, heartbreaking yet astonishingly life-affirming. It will take you to the very edge.
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.