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Ways to Live Forever

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  7,463 ratings  ·  1,141 reviews
"My name is Sam. I am eleven years old. I collect stories and fantastic facts. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead."

Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl. And because he has leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers to the questions nob
Paperback, 215 pages
Published January 7th 2008 by Marion Lloyd Books (first published 2008)
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Terri This is a realist fiction. That means that it isn't true, but could be!…moreThis is a realist fiction. That means that it isn't true, but could be!(less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,463 ratings  ·  1,141 reviews

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Let's be honest. I usually only review books I can bash. It's something I like to do. But for Ways to Live Forever, one really must follow my thought process.

Page One Thoughts: This stupid book is going to make me cry.
Page Seventy-Six Thoughts: Actually, this might turn out to be cheesy.
Page One-Thirty-One Thoughts: Why am I scared of dying all of a sudden? Also, this is pretty heady stuff for young readers.
Page One-Seventy-Two Thoughts: No! This is manipulative! This book wants me to cry! I wil
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There's no point having wishes if you don't at least try to do them"

—Sam McQueen, Ways to Live Forever, P. 60

This book subtly captured me and led me into its story, until before I even knew what was happening I was totally invested, heart, mind, and soul, in Sam and his life. The tension of approaching climax weighed on me as if it were happening to my own friend, and the panic juxtaposed against Sam's own calm regarding the seeming inevitability of his impending death lay powerfully on my m
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk
My gran gave me this when i was youner. Really good.
samantha  Bookworm-on-rainydays
i loved this book. Seeing Sam throughout the pages of this book was both heartbreaking, and joyful. This book was very moving, this book was well written, appropriate, and emotional. I think everyone of any age would enjoy this book.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-4-stars
This book was so far out of my comfort zone..

This is a book you can read in one sitting and finish in about two hours. However I just couldn’t. I needed to be in the right mood for the final part because I knew what was coming.. So I put the book aside for like three months, and today was the day I picked it up again and broke my heart.

This book isn’t literature. It’s written very easily and it was really far out of my comfort zone because I normally read YA (dystopian/fantasy). But this book it
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
This book is just... wow. I'm sorry I can't think of a more intelligent way to put it, but it was so incredibly ... beautiful. You can't often say that about what is supposed to be a kids' book, but this was so simply, heartbreakingly written, it was like ... it was so terrifically honest and convincing, half the time I was sure I was reading a true, Anne-Frank-style diary. Both Sam and Felix leapt off the page and in to my head, and I can tell you now, I will never forget them.
But what is so he
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ways To Cry Forever: Read this damn book.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: If you like the children and dramatical books, it's a must read!!!
Recommended to Wezy by: No one at all
When he was eight, the son of friends of mine went through a sort of John Webster phase, being much obsessed with death. His fondness for poking at road-kills and gazing at graveyards troubled his parents, of course, but not half as much as the interminable questions. What's it like to die? How do you know when you're dead? What happens afterwards? Why do we have to die anyway? These are "The Questions that Nobody Answers", according to Sam McQueen, the 11-year-old hero of Ways to Live Forever. ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This Book + The Feels=Broken Heart
This was so heartwarming, i had quite high expectations of this book due to seeing the film first but the adaptation of this book is so good!
I loved how innocent a this book is, there is no sugar coating the reality of a cancer patient. The character in this book Sam asks all the interesting questions that either nobody answers are no one knows the answer to. My favourite character in this book is Felix, he was a real representation of what the world truly is a
The 9-to-12 age group's answer to Jenny Downham's Before I Die. 11-year-old Sam keeps a notebook in the final months of his life, while he's getting palliative care for his leukemia. He's on homebound instruction with his friend Felix, who also has terminal cancer, and visits a clinic once a week to get his medicine. Sam has a real voice, just the right one for a child his age. His story brought tears to my eyes.

What struck me the most about the story was Sam's family. They were a functional fam
Phuc Vo
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
There's no point having wishes if you don't at least try to do them.
This is a heart-touching book.
Many questions that nobody answer.
How do you know that you've died?
Why does God make kids get ill?
Does it hurt to die?
What does a dead person look like? Or feel like?
Why do people have to die anyway?
Where do you go after you die?
Will the world still be there when I am gone?
This is not fair.
He was too good for this earth. God loved him so much, he wanted him in heaven.
Mum and Da
Deanna Day
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Realistic fiction--death, family, writing, friendship, inquiring. Absolutely wonderful book about a boy named Sam who is dying of leukemia. His teacher invites him to write a book and he includes lists, all of his questions about death that no one wants to talk about or answer, facts, his goals, things he collects (kind of like a scrapbook), etc. He meets a friend named Felix in the hospital who also is dying and they work on Sam's list of things he wants to do including smoking, kissing a girl ...more
Sep 25, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-german

Been made into a movie

Basically it's about a boy who knows he's gonna die, but has a list of things-to-do he wants to fulfill before it's too late. This element has been used a lot of times in many, many books, but never ceases to get old (to me).
The voice Sally Nicholls created through 11 year-old Sam rang true in my ears.
It was depressing, a few times touching & still a good example to what death can do to the one dying and the loved ones being left behind.

Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I finished this book an hour ago & I had to wait and pull myself together before writing this review.
It is one of the most emotional books I've ever read.
Anyone who reads this and doesn't shed tears has a heart of stone!
I HATE it when people give a book less stars just because its sad. Surely if a book can evoke such strong emotions in a person then that is proof that it is very well written and the reader is fully engrossed in the story!
I gave it 5 stars because this story deserves no less in
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars

The first tear jerker of the year
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sam has leukaemia and his treatment is no longer working, and he is writing a book. I really liked that the story was told by Sam and it definitely had the voice of a young boy. A sad but sweet read.
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: 2016-read
I got this book at my local bookstore on Independent Bookstore day. It was one of those "blind date" books where they wrap the book in paper and write a short description of the story on front, preventing you from "judging a book by its cover". I'm so glad that not only did I get this book but I couldn't see its cover- which doesn't relate the story at ALL and probably wouldn't have been a book I picked up on my own.

This story is told in a mix of letters, lists and journal entries. Ways to Live
enqi ☁️✨
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, standalones
List No 1: Five Facts About Me
1. My name is Sam.
2. I am eleven years old.
3. I collect stories and fantastic facts.
4. I have leukaemia.
5. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.

Reading Ways to Live Forever was like a trainwreck.

I could see the end coming. With every page I turned I knew I was closer and closer to heartbreak. I think what made this book so gripping, so heartwarming yet so haunting, was how deceptively light it was. At first glance, it's just like any ordinary chil
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juv
Although I was personally caught up in Sam's story (and yes, crying through the second half), I was distracted by the question of whether or not this book would really appeal to an eleven year old boy. I know there's an appetite for sob-stories in young girls, but would boys pick this up? I can't say I know the answer, but one thing consoled me - Sam is really thinking things through. We see his distraught parents trying to cope, and occasionally they come on the scene as realistic, fully-fleshe ...more
Jun 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How lovely novel this is. Normally I don't read novel for young adults but I did liked this one very much indeed. The language is simply but absolutely beautiful; portraits as well; it's really impossible not to love Felix and entire Sam's family (and of course Sam). From the very beginning you are stunned by horrifying circumstance characters of the novel are facing with and feel gratefulness cause you're not from that story. Then you realize that there are numerous people in precisely the same ...more
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Betsy by: John Mason
One Sentence Review: You have to have some kinda chops to write a funny dying kid book, particularly if it's written in that kid's voice, but this is just one of the funniest, smartest, and saddest titles of the year. ...more
Samantha Rodriguez
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's a good book to me it was like a rollercoaster because one second your excited the next youre worried and finally your talking at the book with tears streaming down your face
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wonder what its like when you die? In this Realistic Fiction novel we will learn about how it might feel to die. I really loved how Sally Nicholls wrote the novel, because she made me feel like i was in the book and i was watching all the story and and there's parts where Sam would stop and say what he would be thinking about that thing. I liked that she wrote in like a diary which made it kinda cool because she would write like on March 22 and the next chapter would be on April 15th. I liked ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
***Spoiler Alert***
Do you know someone who wrote a book about your death? Well in this book a boy named Sam writes about events leading to his death. Sam is an eleven year old boy that has leukemia. Sam wants to live his last few days with his family and friends. The genre of this book is realistic fiction. I think this book is a very sad book but a very good one as well.

This book takes place in Sams home town. Sam wants to live his lasts moments with his friends and family but his time living i
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ways To Live Forever
By: Sally Nicholls
Have you ever wondered what diseases could kill you?
There are many diseases that can kill you but in this book we are talking about leucimea.In this realistic fiction book we will be joining Sam on his journey to death.I think this book is really good and I hope you decide to read this book.
This book begins with a boy named Sam at his house with his friend Felix.Sam and Felix get home schooled by Ms.Willie.Sam and felix both have leukemia.Sam wanted to l
Suze Lavender
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sam is eleven years old. He likes lists, records and facts, he has a sister called Ella and a friend called Felix. Sam has leukemia and he has a list of things he still wants to do in his life. He's writing a book about everything that occupies his mind. He has a lot of questions and tries to find the answers. He wonders about death, dying and being dead, but also about living. He wants to kiss a girl, fly in an airship, drink alcohol, etc. Sam tries to make the most of the time he has left...

Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In general, I am not a fan of books which are primarily sad. I do not mean tragedy—I enjoy those well enough—I mean stories of illness, depression, pain, death. It is not that I do not have an appreciation for these stories…I just do not enjoy being sad.

Ways to Live Forever is sad. It is about a tweenage boy who is dying of Leukemia. There isn’t much doubt that he is dying. The story begins when his family has basically been told that there is nothing more to do for him, and he has months left
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What do you think happens when you die? Does it hurt? Do you go heaven?
In this realistic fiction a boy may have to face that sometime soon. I loved reading this book its funny and sad but reading this makes you think throughout the whole book like *** Spoiler Alert *** Sam has leukemia and on a wish list he wants to do teenage things like smoke and get girls so his friend Felix gives him a cigarette. I was like wait a minute why would he want to do that when he is sick because that for sure is
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredible book told from the first person point of view by Sam, an 11 year old boy dying of leukemia. Wow.....

This is not the typical type of book I read, but I read this book because my daughter started it and continued to give me updates about Sam and Felix (Sams friend), and some of the "updates" were getting a little heavy, so I decided to read it myself. I was not disappointed. You, will not be disappointed! It also opened a door for my daughter and I to discuss things we wouldn
Paula  Phillips
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With the movie and book "The Fault in Our Stars" released, the teens of nowadays are going through a phase of reading books that are set around the topic of "Cancer". When you get to my age though, you have read so many books about this topic, that often it can get kind of boring as you are reading the same thing over and over again. However, Sally Nicholls book "Ways to Live Forever" was amazing and was definitely not boring. The book is set around two main characters 11 year old Sam and 13 ye ...more
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Sally Nicholls is a prize-winning British children's author. She was born and grew up in Stockton-on-Tees. On finishing school, Nicholls chose to travel around the world. Her first novel was Ways to Live Forever. ...more

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“Things I Want to Happen After I die: You're allowed to be sad, but you're not allowed to be too sad. If you're always sad when you think about me, then how can you remember me?

—Sam McQueen”
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