Saturday, April 23, 2011

By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

Completion Date: March 30, 2011
Reason for Reading: Trying to read all of her books. (For 'fun' just sounds wrong...)
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?

National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.
Julie Anne Peters is an author that I have slowly been working my way through since reading her for the first time a couple years ago. Her books all deal with serious subject matters, so I always have to be in the right mood when I read her. I always try to have something out by her for when the mood strikes. I have read several of her books at this point, but a quick search of my blog shows that I have never reviewed any of them. That doesn't really surprise me, but at the same time I thought I would have at least reviewed one of them.

Over the years I have read Luna, which is about a young man and his sister who tells his story. He is feeling trapped in a body that was not meant for him. I think if I had to pick a favourite by her so far it would be this one. It's too bad I never reviewed it. Then, there is Keeing You a Secret which is about a young girl who thought she had everything in her life figured out... until a new student transfers to her school and wants to start a lesbigay club. Between Mom and Jo was my first read by Peters. In a way, it is a bit different from the other books that I have read by her. It was really good, though. Obviously I liked it enough to keep reading books by her. I think the only other book I have read by her is Rage. This is about abuse. Another good read. I haven't not liked any of her books yet and think that many teens out there should be checking out her work.

Moving on to the book I actually just read, this is about bullying which is a topic that has been explored extensive in the news lately. When you are bullied, it can lead to a troubling end with many teens and young adults committing suicide. When I was a kid I constantly heard that saying that 'Sticks and Stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.' I was having a conversation the other day and I actually think that words stick with you more than the broken bones. It depends on the situation, of course. Not everything has the same effect on people.

I think Peters did a very good job capturing what it was like to be a young woman going through this. Daelyn has attempted to commit suicide before, but has yet to be successful. This time she is determined and is planning everything out to the last detail. As she moves closer and closer to the date she is going to die, we learn more and more about what she has gone through. Her parents believe they are doing the best they can, but at the same time you can tell they know they failed her some how. Daelyn just feels inferior to everyone. She is in a lot of pain, and considering some of the things that happened to her, you can well imagine she would be. Peters gets inside Daelyn's head really well. I was very impressed and once again think that she wrote a compelling, yet heartbreaking, story about what it is like to be a teen in the world today.

If you haven't read Peters, you really should give her a try. Another excellent novel. I also have always been drawn to this particular cover.


  1. She is an amazing author. I really need to read Luna.

  2. I love Julie Anne Peters so much!! I've read Between Mom and Jo, Luna and this one and I honestly can't pick a favorite. And I'm so with you that words hurt more than broken bones....Bones mend, words don't always.

  3. Her books sound heartbreaking, I'm not sure I'll ever really be in the mood for them... They do sound worth it though!

  4. I have to admit, I didn't really care for Luna very much (not the subject matter, but the writing). This story sounds like something I'd read in a heartbeat though. I might just keep it on my radar and give the author another chance. Thanks for posting about it because I'd never know it existed otherwise!

  5. I've really liked all the Julie Anne Peters I've read so far. Between Mom & Jo, Grl2Grl & Define Normal. This is probably the one I want to read next.

  6. The only book of hers I've read is Keeping You a Secret, which I really liked. I have several on my shelf that I'm dying to read, but unfortunately this isn't one of them because I think it's the one I want to read most! And Kelly, I love what you said about "sticks and stones..."--so very, very true.


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