So what was good about Before I Die ? I can answer in one word: Nothing.
Yes, Yes, I know many people have been praising this book to death, and believ...moreSo what was good about Before I Die ? I can answer in one word: Nothing.
Yes, Yes, I know many people have been praising this book to death, and believe me; no one is more disappointed than I am.
I was very excited for this book. I thought it was gonna be heartbreaking and thought-provoking. I thought it would make me appreciate life more. Boy was I wrong!
As a start, none of the characters appealed to me. The main character Tessa annoyed the hell out of me! I truly tried to sympathize with her, but throughout the story, there was nothing that made me feel sorry for her. In fact, I felt sorry more for the other characters who had to deal with her stupidity and insanity. Her list was stupid. I mean, breaking the law? doing drugs? I have no problem with people doing lists of things they want to do, but it has to make some significance to their character. It was never explained why she wanted do the things on her list.
Tessa's list, or at least half of it is about doing reckless and irresponsible things. To me, Tessa seemed to think that living your life is about being wild. She continues to prove that to me until the very end. Don't get me wrong. Everybody should have fun from time to time, but you also need to be responsible if you wanna get through life. I know that Tessa doesn't have that much time left, but when you're dying, you should live your life to its fullest, not doing things that could lead to your destruction. Again, I would've sympathize with Tessa if her actions were explained, but they never were. Tessa thought she could do whatever she wants and everybody would forgive her because she was dying. Guess what? Life doesn't work that way. Believe me, I wasn't expecting Tessa to be a likable or an inspiring character. But just because a character isn't likable doesn't mean they can't be well-developed and interesting. Tessa was the exact opposite.
However, Tessa wasn't the worst character. Oh no. The worst character was Zoey, the so called "best friend". She is easily is one of the most frustrating, weakly developed, disagreeable character I had the displeasure of reading.I never understood how these two could be friends. Tessa seemed very pathetic to me whenever she misses hanging out with Zoey who is constantly being mean to her. Zoey seemed forced to hang out with Tessa. Why? It was never explained. You don't get enough background on the character of Zoey. I could rant on and on why I hate this character, but then this review would've been much longer.
I don't have much to say about the other characters. In general, they all seem pathetic to me. None of them is well developed due to the fact they're not given much to do, in my opinion. ALL the characters in this book didn't feel real.
And about the love story, it happened out of nowhere! The love interest Adam has no personality. Most of the conversations between Tessa and Adam revolves around "making love" it got so annoying. I would never ever understand how or why Adam fell in love with her. I just didn't buy the "love" that was between these two. "They fell in love. How? It just happened"? As far as I know, love doesn't work that way. I love well-developed romances, but this one wasn't a love story. It was a story of lust.
The story itself was all over the place. The chapters feel like episodes with each one tells different incident revolves around Tessa's stupid list. We follow Tessa as she tries to complete the things she wants to do before she dies, but the list is so uninteresting and idiotic that you just don't care. I'm not saying she should try doing extraordinary things like saving the world or anything, but doing drugs? seriously!? Tessa was the driving force of the plot, so that would explain why I didn't like the plot.
I wasn't asking for an inspiring story or a likable main character when I was reading Before I Die . Like many people, I thought this book would be depressing. However, it didn't make me depressed at all. It made me angry. I'm sorry I'm being too harsh, but this is just my opinion. In the end, I wouldn't say don't read this book. Many people love it, so maybe there is something that I failed to see. (less)
هذا الكتاب يحتوي معلومات أعرفها مسبقًا (معظمها تقليدية)، لذلك لم يعجبني كثيرًا كنت أرغب لو تحدث الكاتب عن الزواج ومواكبة العصر الحديث ربما سأحاول قرأته...moreهذا الكتاب يحتوي معلومات أعرفها مسبقًا (معظمها تقليدية)، لذلك لم يعجبني كثيرًا كنت أرغب لو تحدث الكاتب عن الزواج ومواكبة العصر الحديث ربما سأحاول قرأته ثانية في وقت لاحق (less)
This is a simple story with a heart. As Sarah Dessen's debut novel, That Summer really impressed me. Nothing much happens really, but I was personally...moreThis is a simple story with a heart. As Sarah Dessen's debut novel, That Summer really impressed me. Nothing much happens really, but I was personally touched by this book. It's a simple story about how you see life from the point of you of a teenager. It's the time of your life when you feel that everyone and everything is against you.
As I was reading the book, I was angry at all the side characters, everyone just seemed horrible to Haven, the main character. Throughout the novel, I just wished she would just scream and do something bizarre. I forgot I was reading from the point of view of a teenager. Everyone seemed horrible because that was the way she saw them. At the end of the day, they weren’t that bad. They were just people. However it took me a long time to see that. Because we see everything from Haven’s perspective, the other characters seemed one-dimensional most of the time. We don’t get enough time to see them for how they really are. To me, that was the book’s weakest point.
Haven is a very relatable character. I understood what she was going through. Things just don’t seem the way they are when you look back at them as you get older. Sometimes, when you have nothing in life to look forward to, you look back at the good times of the past so you would have something to hold on to. That’s why Haven kept looking back at that one summer when everything was the way she wanted them to be.
I think this book requires a certain level of patience to read. You have to read all the way through to appreciate the story. Although, I could say the story could’ve been more. I enjoyed it for what it is. The simple execution of the premise shaped a heartfelt story. All in all, I really enjoyed That Summer, and I can’t wait to read Sarah Dessen’s other books. (less)