REVIEW: Now is Good (Before I Die) by Jenny Downham

March 20, 2013

Tessa has just a few months to live. 

Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests and drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her Before I Die list. And number one is sex. Starting tonight.

Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Her feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and the powerful, bittersweet first love she finds with the boy next door - all are painfully yet beautifully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out.

Now is Good was a good book, and reflecting back on it now I did enjoy it. But it wasn't a great as I had hoped, especially with it's comparison to The Fault in Our Stars. TFIOS is my all time favorite book, purely amazing!! Read it. Sorry, I get a tad carried away when talking about anything John Green. Yes they both have characters suffering from cancer but I did not enjoy this as much TFIOS. Ok, Focus... Let's get down to business.

Now is Good stars Tessa who is 16 and dying. She's never had much excitement in her life and still has so much she wants to do. Tessa's best friend Zoe has always been the wild and confident one while Tessa was the shy one unable to do anything due to her illness. Damaged by her non-existent future Tessa decides to make a list of things to do, so she can finally live in her last days.

Tessa was a character that I did sympathise with but I couldn't connect with as much I like to in books. Her and her friend Zoe (who I did not like at all) did reckless and stupid things. And I couldn't help but think that maybe Tessa could write more things of value on her list. I just didn't understand.... haha. I just didn't feel like any of the characters in the book expect for Tessa's little brother had much of an affect on me. 

The end of this book was written in a beautiful yet haunting way and it sure as hell made me freaked out about dying. I know this sounds like a negative review, but it was good. I just expected it to be much more and found it suited for older ages then mine. So in some cases I was like "guys please, all I ask is a little PG", haha. But out of all of that something kept me reading it. It wasn't my favourite and if I'm going to be honest it did let me down a bit, but it was Good.

PS. Please check out my friend G's awesome Book Blog, we met at an event recently and she is lovely. Please help her out as her blog is brand new. Check out her awesome book blog at
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  1. This sounds right up my alley. I am drawn to illness books, abd don't know why.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. I completely understand what you mean about getting carried away when talking about John Green. Whenever he's mentioned, I ramble about how much I love him and his books. Like, in human geography, my teacher played one of John's crash course videos, and I started FLIPPING OUT.

    Anyway, this book sounds really good, though I'm sorry to hear it was disappointing after reading TFiOS. I'm sorry you couldn't connect with Tessa as much as you'd hoped. But I'm happy to hear that it's overall good, though not great! Fantastic review, Sunny. :)

  3. I've been intrigued by this book. I'll probably wish to have it PG as well :)

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf


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