Tessa in Before I Die, by Jenny DownhamRead about another entry on the list.
“Buttons ping across the room as I slash my coats…I lacerate every pair of trousers. I line my shoes up on the window ledge and cut off their tongues. It’s good. I feel alive.” Feeling alive is important to Tessa, because it’s increasingly rare. She’s been fighting leukemia since she was 12 and now, at 16, the leukemia’s winning. In a fit of rage against the hand she’s been dealt, she rips apart and tosses out the window every item she owns—clothes, books, CDs, a television set—prompting her heartbroken dad to ask, “What happens if anger takes you over, Tessa? Who will you be then? What will be left of you?” An achingly realistic, beautiful book, whose heavy subject matter manages to provide love and even laughter in equal measure.