Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mini-Review: By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead

Mini-reviews are where I write about books that I want to mention but am too lazy or too busy to write a full-length review for. I say what I thought about the book in 5 sentences then share a quote I liked from the book.

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead, by Julie Anne Peters. The summary:
Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she’s determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for “completers”--www. through-the-light.com.

While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she’s waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she’s made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won’t give up. And it’s too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life…isn’t it?

National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.
Obviously this book was a bit of a downer; it deals with suicide and bullying and self-hatred, and since it’s all from the first-person perspective of Daelyn, it’s pretty intense. It was a bit like watching a car wreck for me--really tragic but I couldn’t look away. Since I’ve been lucky enough not to have to deal with the issues Daelyn does, I found it kinda hard to connect with her; sometimes I really didn’t understand her way of thinking or her motivation, and that made it tough for me to empathize with her. And I felt like the resolution at the end was too rushed, which is a little sad because I felt like after all Daelyn’s been through, she deserved way more than that. Overall, I think this is a book that should be read, because it deals with tough subjects that I don’t think get brought up enough, but it’s not exactly the easiest book to read due to the intense subjects and emotions.

The quote, p. 67:
I wish I could tell my parents, “If you want to help me, help me die.”
I wonder, Are they required to fill out a 24-hour suicide watch form? Is The Defect at home? Check. Is It alive? Check.

Why did they bother with the corrective surgery on my throat anyway? Waste of money. They threw away, or hid from me, everything with sharp edges, or breakable. Picture frames. Pottery. Did they think they could suicide-proof this place?

I want to tell them, “Chip, Kim, there is no way to suicide-proof a person.”


  1. Great review! Yeah, it's tough to connect to suicidal characters if you've never been there. Even I, who have had people close to me attempt or threaten suicide, don't fully understand all of those issues.

  2. I know what you mean with car wreck books. Most "issue" books are like that for me. You don't want to read about all the disaster, but it's interesting and horrifically enticing.

  3. This sounds like a very moving, very emotional book. I'll be looking for this one. Very interesting.


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