Daelyn is tired of being bullied and hurt, and has decided to commit suicide. In twenty-three days, she will make another attempt, and this time, she won’t fail again. In the meantime, she starts to say goodbye to everything around her, and tries her best not to let anyone – not the boy who keeps trying to engage her after school, not the other outcast girl at school – penetrate her walled exterior.
As usual for Julie Anne Peters, this book was amazing. It was so hard to read about all the things Daelyn has suffered through in her short life. I remember being impressed with Thirteen Reasons Why, which also discussed suicide, and now comparing the two books, this one is immensely better. I could feel all the characters so strongly, and I ached for them. My only problem was that I worried this would become one of those “a romance will save her” sorts of books and I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t mind if a friendship or personal connection with someone saved Daelyn, but I didn’t want her to suddenly be “all better” because she met a nice boy and fell in love. At first it seemed like it was going to take this path, but it didn’t. Some elements to it were there, but it ended in a far more realistic and acceptable way.
The book also made me think a lot about choice and free will, particularly with regards to death. We don’t really have free will when it comes to death, not when we’re young, not when we’re old. Should we? I’m not sure. But it certainly got me thinking. Especially when I picked up Chocolat right afterwards (which brings up voluntary euthanasia). Lately I haven’t really been interested in YA and there’s very little of it that I still have on my to-read list, but I imagine I will continue to read Julie Anne Peters’ books. They are all just so wonderful!