Review - I have been crying solidly for the past thirty minutes, dampening my pillow as I read the end of this book. I didn't like Tessa and I hated myself for feeling that way. It took me most of the book to realise that I did care about her though and that her fast approaching death felt intensely real. I actually caught sobs in my throat, this piece of writing is that emotive (and I can be an unashamed brick wall at times.) There is no sentimentiality here, lacking that cringe factor that most TV writers make of death. It's piercingly real and painful as all heck.
“I wish I had a boyfriend. I wish he lived in the wardrobe on a coat hanger.”Downham writes poetically. I have to admit that I found it overly wordy at times but then again I found myself sucked into the story. The characterisation is exquisite from her poor, self-sacrificing father to her daring friend, Zoey. This one defies the cliches of many authors attempts to depict a child's death, thumbs it's nose to those who criticise teen literature and screams for you to continue Tessa's journey. I found myself fighting this story as Tessa gave in to the eventuality of her death. Daeht isn't easy and neither is this book. But reading this was definitely worthwhile. I would highly recommended this novel, very deserving of the Silver Inky award.
Format: Paperback, 326 pages
Publisher: Red Fox / Random House
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NY Times interview