Sunday, August 8, 2010

By the Time You Read This I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

I thought this book was going to be a little like 13 Reasons Why, ( explaining what lead up to a suicide, but this book looks at suicide in a different way.
Daelyn is a very sad young women. She has been bullied her whole life and has decided that the only way out is suicide. When she finds a website aimed at helping people commit suicide, she learns how to do it right. But the website has a catch, you must wait 24 days. As Daelyn waits and plans for her final act, she spends time blogging on the website about her life and it is through these blog entries that we learn of the repeated bullying that she has endured. As we learn about her past, we also learn about what is happening now. Daelyn meets a boy, the first person who really treats her normally and seems to want a friendship and yet she is very hesitant to trust anyone. As her 24 days slip by, Daelyn must decide how it will all end for her.
When I started reading this book, I found it very depressing and hard to read, but as I continued, Daelyn's story became very compelling and I was drawn into her life, both past and present. I am hesitant to have it in my classroom though. Daelyn's story is important, but I would worry that a child might not have the proper perspective to understand the messages. I would strongly suggest that anyone giving this book to a child to read it first and discuss it along side of the reader.