Monday, 14 April 2014

Miniviews #8: Before I Die & The Spectacular Now

Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Publication Date: July 5th, 2007
Publisher: David Fickling
Pages: 327
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3/5
I went into this knowing it would break my heart. And Before I Did did not disappoint there. But unfortunately a lot of other things about this read fell flat for me. I did like quite a few aspects as I was reading along. Tessa is dying and at only 16 there's a lot of things she's yet to experience. So she makes a list and enlists the help of her best friend, Zoey. Unfortunately I didn't really like Tessa. She's a brat. I know she's expected to have major mood swings. But the thing is she has no regard for anyone else. Especially her dad who has given up everything to take care of his daughter. Although I felt for Tessa I just couldn't get on board with her attitude and her treatment of others. Zoey is also pretty awful. And I have no idea why Tessa kept her around. And than we have Adam. The next super cute next door neighbour. Another person that Tessa doesn't treat with any respect to begin with. But eventually they form a sweet relationship that I think helps her through to her last moments.
So although they were heartfelt moments as well as tearful ones. Before I Die just didn't hit the same cords that I was expecting it to.

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Publication Date: January 1st, 2008
Publisher: Ember
Pages: 294
Source: Purchased
Rating: 2/5
This is a very honest and true coming of age story. And I appreciate Tharp for keeping it real. But that still didn't make me like or agree with how Sutter lived his life. He's obviously had a difficult up-bringing and his motto is to live in the now. Everything is a big joke to him. He doesn't take anything seriously. He has no respect for anyone. And he's got a constant buzz going on. Than when he meets Aimee, a shy and sweet girl that has trouble standing up for herself, he says I'm going to help her. And sure he helps her come out of her shell but he also turns her into a complete lush who now bases her life around him. Ugh!
Sutter has daddy issues. His dad walked out on the family when he was a kid and he hasn't seen nor spoken to him since then. Eventually near the end of the book Sutter finally meets up with his dad who is a complete mess. And it's obvious that at this point Sutter is headed towards the same life. Of course his dad lets him down and Sutter has a few thoughts about how maybe he should change his life so he doesn't end up like him. But that's all that comes of it, thoughts. 
And that ending. WTF? Way to leave the reader with no resolution. As well as absolutely no character growth. The Spectacular Now obviously was not a book for me. It left me with a lot of anger in the end.

Happy reading!



  1. I agree that the end of The Spectacular Now was not what I expected, but I really liked the book! I really need to see the movie!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. Wonderful mini reviews Brittany. Tessa sounds horrible! I've been reading a few reviews on contemporary 'dying' novels and each seems to feature a brat of an MC. :/ I don't understand why, you'd think the author would want to make them more relatable? Sorry there were so many flaws in other books, at least they were good enough for you to read till the end!

  3. I didn't hear of these but they seem really good to me. I'll look them up. :)

    Ivana @ BookishTeens