Friday, April 2, 2010
By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Release Date: Available Now from Hyperion CH
Source: Personal Collection
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.
This is another one of my Christmas break reads that I am just now getting around to reviewing. I am a fan of Julie Anne Peters. Her books are fantastic and are full of interesting, real characters. This book is no exception, although it is a wee bit darker than her previous books. Most of her books that I've read deal with LGBT teens who are trying to find their place and their way in the world. This book deals with a teen who is completely lost and has turned to suicide to end her pain.
As the synopsis says, "Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair," and she attempted suicide many times. After one such attempt, Daelyn decides to pretend for her parents that she is healing, while all the time she is planning her next and final attempt with the help of a website created to encourage and support people who are suicidal. I know that such websites exist and it's pretty scary and mind-boggling. I hate that we live in a world where people will encourage one another to commit suicide and it's even more frightening that children and teens have access to these sites, as if life isn't hard enough for kids.
I really did feel for Daelyn. She's a very sympathetic character who had just totally given up on life. Then she meets Santana and things start to slowly turn around for her. Santana is the true hero of this story. He's a guy who is battling demons of his own, yet still sees something special in Daelyn and won't give up until he reaches her. I loved this character; he's pretty much impossible not to love.
Julie Anne Peters is such a brave author. She tackles some tough issues, but does it in a very thoughtful way. Her books are full of heart and understanding, which means that each book she writes makes life just a little bit easier for teens. You have to respect that.