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.


  1. I'm reading this book now and infact, I've been wanting to read more reviews of it now. That is crazy that there are real sites like through the light, that exist. I didn't know that. I knew there were like sites that like, told you how to commit suicide but wow. That's horrible. I totally understand what you are saying about Santana. I love him.

  2. Hey, awesome review. I completely agree with you on this one. Daelyn is a very well done character and her pain was intensely real. And I agree, it is scary to think these sites exist but I also think Peters did a great job in this book showing the drive behind even turning to such a site. For someone like Daelyn, who is so set on it, it isn't that scary. What is scary are the ones who are unsure and find the site- seeing all these reasons why maybe it is okay. It's such a gray, hard area and Peters handled it beautifully. Very awesome, concise review without giving away the bigger parts.

  3. I really want to read this one, heard many great things about it. But just haven't gotten around to it. Awesome review!!

  4. Very insightful review. I am not sure how I feel about books that are about teen suicide. Sometimes these difficult issues need to be discussed, and yet I worry that they might be read by teens that are so broken like the character and will see only the dark side not the hopefulness.

  5. This is not my normal read, but I've heard such great things about it so I'll give it a try :)

  6. I'm going to have to read this soon, as the last 2 lines of your review has made me really want to dig it out. I love books that have the ability to help someone!

  7. Thanks for the review! Julie Anne Peters is an author I need to check out.

  8. Great review. After reading this book and hearing how much people love Peters's books, I'll really have to try more by her.

    PS: New follower :)