Friday, January 8, 2010

Review: By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead

By the Time you Read This, I'll be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Review by: Lauren
Source: Publisher sent for Review

Official 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?


Having read two other books from Peters, I must say her books just seem to get better and better. Her latest deals with the horrible act of bullying and what that does to a person over time. I've never really been bullied. Sure, I've been called names before but thankfully I had my friends and everyone else just kind of ignored me. I have seen other people get it a bit worse though.

Daelyn, on the other hand, is one of those cases that exceed what people think they know about bullying. All of it is wrong. All of it can hurt. But when it gets to the point where you believe what they say, when it gets to the point where you will keep trying to kill yourself just to get away from it, then it's definitely gone way too far.

Daelyn was a relatable character in the fact that she's just a young girl who wants to be happy. She wants friends, to be able to enjoy school on some level, to find a boyfriend even. She just wants to be able to be herself and not feel bad for that. It's something most people understand. However, the fact that she wants to die and is so intent on doing so is heartbreaking. She believes she's weak and powerless, that all people who commit suicide are, because they can't find a way to get out of it.

This book is just another example of why people need to really focus on bullying. It's changing as time goes on (a lot more is done online these days) but it hasn't gone away and people need to work on changing that. If not, you'll have more people like Daelyn; those that can't find any other way to move on from it all than hurting themselves.

I loved the character of Santana. Where Daelyn is stuck in her own thoughts most of the time (with an inability to talk from her last suicide attempt) Santana bonds with her through often one-sided conversations. He's an adorable, yet geeky kid, who seems to understand Daelyn more than she thinks anyone could. He has a rough past of his own that he's willing to share, allowing Daelyn to see it's okay to share too.

By the Time you Read This, I'll be Dead is an emotional, intense read. I'd definitely recommend it for those that are interested. It's sure to go by fast, but will leave a lasting impact.

Song for the Book

"Don't Laugh at Me" by Mark Wills (lyrics in video): I believe that parts of this relate to Daelyn and Santana, especially the chorus.

GLBT Challenge: Written by a GLBT author, the book does not fall under the category. However, there are mentions of being gay and how that affects your life.


Mandy said...

I've really been wanting to read this one, and I'm glad you enjoyed.
That song always makes me want to cry, because when I first found out my little brother had Down Syndrome, I was so scared that he would get picked on. Also a movie that came out around the time my brother was born called Tru Confesions, added to that fear because I remember a scene where the bullies spit into the kids hat, and it made me cry because I would never be able to stand it if people did that to my brother. But luckly everyone knows and love him, so yeah.
Any way, great review, and sorry for ranting =)

Mitzi H. said...

I'm not sure if I want to read this or not??? I love books that make me happy...but I also love books that make me feel.

Book Monster said...

I was bullied a lot throughout elementary school, and then it stop when I made 2 bests friends. But this year my two best friends cause of turn on me, and started bullying me :( So I'm kind of in a situation where I do feel lonely (not suicidal) and I think I would like to read this book :) Thanks for a great review!!

Kari (Flamingo1325) said...

I definitely want to read this one despite how sad I am sure it is going ot make me. Thanks for the honest and awesome review.

prophecygirl said...

Thanks for a great review, I really want to read this one. I haven't come across many books that deal with bullying, even though it's such an important topic to address.

Icejewel said...

Oh great.I just finished reading and reviewing a book called 'thirteen reasons why by Jay Asher' which is based on the same lines of this book !
I really want to read this book to know how this author has written the book based on suicide and bullying !

Thanks for your review.I had not heard of this book until now :)

robby (onceuponabookblog) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robby (onceuponabookblog) said...

This book sounds so great. I've read all of her books so far except Rage:A Love Story. This just sounds so beautiful, so real, so honest. Julie Anne Peters is incapable of writing a bad book.

Julie Anne Peters said...

Thank you for your amazing and thoughtful review of my book. Obviously, this book is close to my heart and I hope everyone will read it. No young person should be so taunted or harassed that she or he wakes up every morning feeling hopeless about life.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Julie: Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you like the review. It was amazing book and I do agree with you. Everyone should read it.

Robby: it seems like it! I need to read all her others. I do have Rage though. Bought that the other week and can't wait to read it. This book is definitely all those things though.

IceJewel: You're welcome. I'm glad I could bring you a new book and I hope you enjoy it. 13 Reasons Why is another great one, definitely.

Prophecygirl: I do agree. It should be something addressed more often. Definitely check this one out if you can.

Kari: You are quite welcome. and I do hope you read it. It's sad, but there is a lot of good to it.

Book Monster: That is awful! I hate to hear that but I hope you do like the book once you read it. And those people will regret what they did one day. Keep strong!

Mitzi: I know what you mean. I'm a huge fan of the sad/make me feel ones, but you have to be in the right mood. It's a fast read so whenever you feel like it, give it a shot.

Mandy: Thanks for the nice words and for sharing your story. I'm so glad your brother is doing well. I wouldn't be able to stand that either. And yes, it's a very sad song, but I love it.


~The Book Pixie said...

I have a strange fondness of sad books and this one sounds really good. Plus I got a feeling I'll really be able to relate to the MC I can't wait to read it.

Oh yeah, and I love this song. I can remember it from years back. Mark Wills has some great songs and this one has always touched my heart.


Emma Michaels said...

Great review. I agree with you completely that bullying needs the attention that each child who is harmed by it deserves. I love that this author wrote this novel because it shows that at least someone notices and the fact that it was published shows so much more. Love your reviews.


kay - Infinite Shelf said...

This is one of those books I really want to read this year, and after your review I want to even more! It sounds like an intense read, but these always provoke great questions and thinking.

Amanda said...

Lauren, this definitely counts for the GLBT Challenge. The challenge is for GLBT-themes OR GLBT authors. So this is perfect. I have a whole bunch of books by Peters I want to read.

trishalynn0708 said...

Great review.. I have this book on my shelf to read. Bullying is a lot worse now than when I was in school but something does need to be done about it.. It has gotten a lot worse.