I bought this book not realising it was aimed at the teenage market, but I thought I would read it anyway. And I am so glad I did, because this is a book for everyone, regardless of age. It is the story of Tessa, 16 years old and dying of cancer. Tessa seems bolshy and defiant on the surface but, as you read on, you peel away the layers and find a mass of compicated emotions so powerful they grab you by the heart and tug very very painfully.
The writing is economical, simple to read. I read the book in two days. On the first day I felt mainly anger at Tessa's seemingly uncaring, selfish best friend ("It's always got to be about you!") and Tessa's flighty mother who is never there for her. On the second day I felt so many emotions I cannot possibly begin to write them down. The last twenty pages or so of the book were read through a veil of tears.
It is not, however, a sentimental read. Tessa is spirited and her humour shines through, but the raw emotion towards the end can make the book a difficult read, though I guarantee you will not be able to put it down. Even after you have finished, you will likely read the last few pages again.
I urge everyone to read this book. It is raw and true, terribly sad and yet life-affirming, too. A marvellous achievement. Just thinking about it makes me feel like crying.