By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead [NOOK Book]

Overview


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 ...

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By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead

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Overview


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.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Judith Brink-Drescher
The first time Daelyn tried to kill herself she was ten years old. As an obese youngster, she had been bullied and abused by children and adults well into adolescence. Now fifteen, Daelyn's latest attempt at suicide has left her temporarily mute, in a neck brace, and ironically sans her excess weight. Nevertheless after a lifetime of debasement, Daelyn still considers herself fat, ugly, and worthless. So much so, she is never able to share with anyone her deepest, darkest, most humiliating experiences. That is, until she discovered the Web site Through-the-Light. Here Daelyn is not only able to confide her secrets to an audience of like-minded strangers, but she also receives tips and handy how-to instruction on the various methods of suicide. Determined that this next attempt will be her last, Daelyn chooses the minimum timeframe of twenty-three days as her final "Date of Determination"—her last day on earth. Already considered a "loner and a freak" by her classmates, Daelyn has little trouble cutting ties at school, until she is befriended by Santana, a strange, persistent boy who tells her she is mysterious and beautiful. Even though she does everything she can to dissuade him, Santana awakens feelings within her she never knew existed. As such, and with very little time left, Santana proves to be far more of an obstacle than she ever could have anticipated. Any teen fortunate enough not to relate to the subject matter should read this book, which turns the old adage, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me," on its ear. Powerfully portrayed in the first person, the protagonist's account offers compelling insight into just how spiritually andemotionally devastating bullying can be. The title is intriguing enough that teens may pick it up on their own, but they could find it a tough read as a result of the negative and depressing context. Although some pushing will be required for the uninitiated audience, anyone who has been the victim of this type of abuse will not only readily embrace its contents, but also potentially learn from it. Reviewer: Judith Brink-Drescher
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
Daelyn Rice has tried and failed at many suicide attempts in her life. She attends a private school where she is talked about and referred to as the girl who never talks. Daelyn decides to make a final attempt at suicide a success and finds a web page called "Completers." After logging on, she was given the new name of J-Doe 071894. She begins to write about herself online, about the events of her life and what has brought her to this point. She writes from her heart and gives specific details of what people have done and said to her. For example, when she was in seventh grade, she shared with her best friend about how, when she was little, her mother was a drug addict who would sometimes let men take pictures of her daughter. After hearing that, her friend said she could not ever hang out with her again, because she could not be friends with a child porn star. Daelyn had just shared a most private event and could not understand what she had done wrong. Each time she wrote on her blog, heart-wrenching events would be told. She narrated about the names that she was called like "big fat farting pig," "fatso," "Lardo," and "Heifer," what people had done to her, and how totally alone she felt. Others online would also write about their terrible experiences when bullied and made fun of. The emotional roller coaster Daelyn is on every day is shared with the reader and provides an insight to the deep scars left by being bullied. The book begins with Chapter 23 and each chapter after is a countdown to Daelyn's last day on this earth. Discussion prompts are provided at the end of the book as well as facts about bullying, Suicide Warning Signs, Suicide Prevention Hotlines and Websites, Anti-bullying Hotlines and Web Sites, and International Sources. Even though this book is written for young adults, parents, school counselors, and anyone who cares for children should read this book. It is a difficult book to read and will leave the reader thinking about it long after finishing it. It breaks my heart to know it had to be written. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
Judith A. Hayn
Daelyn is a deeply troubled teen, attending a private Catholic girls' school in her parents' misguided attempts to salvage her by constantly switching schools. Daelyn cannot speak due to another thwarted suicide attempt, yet she writes her own painful story. This powerful, disturbing novel covers her ongoing efforts to kill herself as she follows the guidelines of Through-the-Light.com until she goes into the light. Daelyn is one of the lost souls who have been victimized by taunting classmates, originally because she was fat. Will she carry out her path of self-destruction despite hopeful alliances with Santana, the boy who battles Hodgkin's lymphoma, or Emily, a fellow classmate whose size is setting her up for bullying? Peters writes important, challenging fiction for young adults, and this novel's examination of bullycide offers uncomfortable insights into the world of those who feel like losers from birth and trust no one. Reviewer: Judith A. Hayn
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Daelyn Rice has been bullied her entire life, whether it was for her past weight problem or because she currently does not talk and wears a neck brace. She has attempted suicide several times in several different ways and is now more determined than ever to end her life. Daelyn discovers a Web site called Through-the-Light, which is for suicide "completers." There she communicates with others who share the same goal. The members share stories of bullying, molestation, etc., and encourage each other's ultimate goal. Meanwhile, Daelyn meets a boy named Santana. She wants nothing to do with him; his presence and determination to draw her out of her shell only annoy her. Over time and as new information surfaces (he has cancer), however, she finds herself drawn to him. Will their connection be enough to make Daelyn realize that her life is worth living? Readers are left not knowing what she will do. This novel is disturbing in that the teen bluntly discusses her desire to kill herself with little to no emotion. She has a plan, and she is eager to carry it out. Also upsetting are the suicide methods that are explicitly detailed on Through-the-Light. However, Santana's presence is welcome, as he softens the unsettling subject matter. This book is definitely worth the read, but for older, more seasoned teens.—Sarah K. Allen, Elko Middle School, Sandston, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423139393
  • Publisher: Disney Book Group
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Sold by: DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE -EBKS
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 58,187
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • File size: 256 KB

Meet the Author

Julie Anne Peters (www.julieannepeters.com) is the award-winning author of more than fifteen books for children and young adults. She lives in Colorado.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 239 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(142)

4 Star

(52)

3 Star

(26)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 241 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2010

    Raw Emotion

    This book brought a tear to my eye, well I say a tear it was more like a rainfall. I feel for Daelyn, it's hard being a teenager nowadays. Kids are so cruel today and nobody should be bullied for their weight or anything else. No one has the right to make someone else feel like less of a person. When I first started this book it reminded me of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson although the topic at hand and plot are completely different. They spoke of suffering, pain, and loss. I had a friend that I knew for several years kill herself. Nobody knew she was hurting except her boyfriend but by the time she actually said she was going to do it, it was to late. I wish I knew or had paid more attention, maybe I could have picked up on her suffering. If it was my daughter I would give her everything I had to make her happy, if she wanted to be home schooled so be it. I would not make her stay somewhere she did not feel safe or happy at.

    Daelyn has tried to kill herself many times and the only reason she is still alive is because her parents walked in and she did not give herself enough time to complete her "goal" or "wish." She gives herself 23 days then she will complete her "goal." During that time a boy with his own secret, Santana, enters her life and she fights the feeling she starts having for him, kids still bully her, and she faces the memories that made her want to kill herself in the first place. No one knows what she is feeling, thinking, but her family tries although I wish they would have tried harder. The plot was well thought out and the book was a real page turner. I could not wait to finish it mainly because I wanted to see if Santana could save her. This was a very intense book and the emotions are so strong that some people might not be able to take it, mainly because you feel bad that you can't help her or be the friend she needed.

    21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This powerful novel is still with me- a month later!

    After reading this novel, I'm a mass of jumbled emotions. There is so much emotion packed into this short book- and it is REAL emotion. Daelyn is a very interesting character because she doesn't speak through the book. We learn about her through her thoughts and her memories as she tells us what has driven her to this place in her life.

    She is in high school and has moved several times because her parents felt if she could find a new place to live, things would be better for her. Through her memories though, it is clear that moving isn't going to fix things for her. She has seen therapists and doctors who have no idea what to do for her. Her parents don't know what to do for her either and now have to watch her very closely because she is a danger to herself. She is on 24-hour suicide watch and is never alone.

    Daelyn finds a website that offers her a place to discuss and read about people who are in the same place emotionally and want to commit suicide. The site is an anonymous blog for those looking for a way out of this life and the majority of the book is set around what she finds within the site. It does provide her with a place to share all of her pain and what led her here. Ultimately, bullying pushed her to feeling like she was worthless. She was a "fat kid" and no one ever accepted her- she was physically and emotionally abused by classmates and adults never listened or believed her when she reached out for help.

    She never felt like anyone heard her or wanted to hear her because they didn't know what to do to fix it for her. If they ignored it or made it her fault, it wasn't something they had to take responsibility for. Fat Camp wasn't the answer to her weight problem- it was an abusive, horrible experience and school has never been a comfortable, safe place for her. Daelyn felt ignored and denied for so long that she saw no other way out, but her few attempts were not successful, so she went looking for help.

    She ends up meeting someone who turns her life upside down and shows her another side to life and death that she never considered. She has to decide whether or not to let him get close enough to really get to know her- does she want to know him when she is ready to kill herself? Why does he care? And then she sees a girl at school who is being treated poorly because she is heavy and she offers her the only comfort she can at the time, but now she has a friend which further complicates her plans.

    This is worth the time and read- if you are recommending the book to someone who is younger, discussion should be part of it too. There is so much to consider and much of the issues it touched on for me brought tears to my eyes with memories of being in high school and my own feelings. Well done!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    Wrong summary

    This is the wrong summary. It is the summary for the Heist Society.

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    By The Time You Read This I'll Be Dead

    Daelyn feels like a broken person. Her latest failure has left her in a confining neck brace and unable to speak. She's under constant watch by her parents and school, but she is determined that next time she won't fail. Next time she will succeed in killing herself.

    Santana is a young man that notices Daelyn as she waits for her ride home after school one day. He decides she needs a friend, and as much as she resists, he continues to try and get her to open up.

    The story follows Daelyn as she plans her next attempt. We get to see inside her mind to whatmotivates her and what may hold her back. This may sound grim and depressing, but at the same time it is also very mind opening. We see how things we don't even think about can deeply affect the lives of others. The story was very real and the ending is very unexpected. I can't say how without giving too much away.

    5/5

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    Great book very suspenseful and touching!

    I find that the book by the time you read this ill be dead involved a great plot to it and was very suspensful but at the same time very heart breaking. the author not only includes mystery but also a hint of romance.the book is short only 200 pages but its worth it. the character daeylyn really wants to die since she hates her life. after 2 failed attempts shes determined to get this one like. her charcter to me just makes me want to jump in the story and tell what to do. the character santana provides a bit of humor to a very derious book. the ending leaves you wanting more. however i only reccomend this for mature readers because it talks alot about suicide and ways to die.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book!

    I thought it was uniquely written. I've never read a book before where the character couldn't talk, so you're actually just reading all her thoughts. We all know that suicide and bullying happens in our society but I don't think it's taken serious enough. Daelyn wants to commit suicide while a boy she meets named Santana is struggling to stay alive because he has cancer. You really want these two to find love and friendship in each other. I was a little confused with the ending but it makes you put your own thoughts into what you think happens to her. Does she choose to end her own life and commit suicide or does she choose to begin a new life with a clean slate.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Wrong

    Why is the summary wrong

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    my reveiw

    this is such a good book!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    :): i kinda hate luv the ending

    this book was the bomb. i luved santana! he was hilarious. the ending made me mad....yea

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    amazing, haunting

    i love sananta, he is so important for her last 23 days on earth

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2011

    One of the most uncomfortable, yet real, books ever written!

    I was immediately enthralled by the cover of BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I'LL BE DEAD. It was a quick read at only 200 pages, yet it also was an uncomfortable read. I couldn't read it in one sitting because I wanted time to really analyze what I was reading. Julie Anne Peters does such a wonderful job diving into the head of teenager who feels hopeless. There were times I could feel Daelyn's pain jumping off of the pages at me. Daelyn is trapped in a life she cannot stand. She has tried numerous times to end her own life, and her resulting failures only add to her anguish that she shouldn't exist. The plot is centered on a message board that Daelyn stumbles across during an internet search. It turns out to be a message board of all individuals who are contemplating ending their own lives. Once she enters the website, she has only 23 days until the Date of Determination. Each chapter counts back as the days tick away.

    I read this book trying to incorporate two points of view. I wanted to consider the impact of bullying on the receiver. The similarities to what Daelyn lived through--her own private hell during her primary years--was eerily similar to some of the teasing I can recall as a young student. For this reason alone, the novel feels real. She hears so many negative comments from her peers, mostly directed towards her weight that she begins to believe them to be true. However, I also wanted to read this book from the point of view of a parent/educator. What were the warning signs Daelyn gave for her deep depression? She was so isolated, she never made eye contact with anyone, and her self-esteem had plummeted. How could the influential adults in her life not notice she is once again contemplating her own death? For this reason, also, the novel felt real. Every day suicide occurs among young adults and there are typically warning signs gone unnoticed.

    For this novel, I would want to know more about the reader. It gives numerous ways to end one's life, and even goes as far as to tell how painful the deed would be. On one hand, I wouldn't want to put this book into the hands of a student who feels similar to Daelyn, completely hopeless. However, there are several useful resources listed in the back for bullying and suicide that would be helpful knowledge for most young adults.

    I do love the way the author tries to portray Daelyn as a stronger person towards the end of the novel. I was certainly left with questions lingering, which educators will love. There is room to be creative. The discussion questions at the end are also really helpful to dive into the novel and examine your own predefined notions. More importantly though it will allow anyone who has noticed bullying, been bullied, or is a bully see how devastating and detrimental that teasing someone can be.

    You'll love Santanna and Emily. These characters were well developed by Peters. They become somewhat like guardian angels for Daelyn. But, more importantly, they give Daelyn back her self-worth.

    The only negative things I can say about BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I'LL BE DEAD are:
    * Each participant of the message board is assigned a Jane Doe user name; it can become confusing at times when the writers are changing'
    * This novel also uses quite a bit of profanity, but does not allude to any sexual connotations.
    * I didn't like the ending; I wanted to know more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant...One Of My Favorites

    A brilliant, beautifully written book that takes us into perspective of the suicidal teenager... and better yet, the book has a some-what happy ending.

    A book reccommended for anyone, specifically those that lack self-esteem.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    teens must read

    this is a real book with teens who have this problem.
    (which is a real problem with teens to day we watched A video on it at school.)
    i sure as hell have this problem and many of my friends.
    a book like this make you think what your leaving behind
    if you take that final step.
    but the great thing about this book that most writers
    dont write this way. putting you throught the emotions of
    A person trying to off themselves. thay sometime and most of the
    time have a 2nd person solving the Quetion of why? and who? kill
    him/her.

    it's funny that the girl dose NOT talk, but you still
    know her. if you read this book and not feel like you know her
    your slow. but im slower but i can relate because i went thought the
    EMOtions.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

    Daelyn has suffered major psychological damage from years of being bullied. The torment and embarrassment she received because of her weight started her downhill slide into despair. She has lost her desire to live and failed at several attempts to end her life. Her latest failure has left her unable to talk and on 24-hour suicide watch. Her parents barely trust her to go to school.

    Daelyn is biding her time. She only has 23 days until her Date of Determination. She discovers the Through the Light website by accident, but finds it to be a welcome change of pace compared to the other suicide websites and discussion boards she's visited in the past. Instead of preaching and warning her against her decision, the website provides rational and informational posts and discussions about ending her life.

    BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I'LL BE DEAD is a powerful and heart-wrenching story of one girl as she makes the hardest decisions of her life. How will she end her life and what will she do with her last 23 days?

    Daelyn thinks she has it all figured out until she meets a strange boy while she waits for her parents to pick her up after school. Santana is persistent when it comes to making friends with Daelyn, but with only 23 days to live does she really have time?

    This is a short book at only 198 pages. It is easily a one-sitting read and well worth the time. The author, Julie Anne Peters, also includes a lot of factual information at the back of the book. There are 19 Discussion Questions as well as sections about Bullying, Suicide, Warning Signs, and Prevention Hot Line Information.

    Your heart will break for Daelyn and the ending is thought-provoking.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    This book has been my favorite book for 2 years and I have re-re

    This book has been my favorite book for 2 years and I have re-read it about eight times and each time it feels new. The reason this book is so important to me is because struggling with depression myself, Daelyn reminds me exactly of myself and my thoughts. I do not recommend letting someone who is already depressed or suicidal with this book, because in the book there are suicide methods right down to how much pain you will experiance. I am a depressed teenager myself (15 year old female) and have tried ending my life before, but instead of this book bringing any "suicidal urges" it actually made me stronger. I just don't know how it would work out for anyone else like me, though. Daelyn feels like my best friend and although the ending did make me sad, it was a raw, emotional, real book, unlike other books on this kind of subject. I loved Santana but was saddened at the end because he could not save her, and Emily was sweet and could have been a great friend to Daelyn, if Daelyn could have just let them in. I recommend this to teenagers 13 and above, since it may be too much for young kids. 5/5

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Loved it !!!!!!!!!!!

    Loved this boo& no she didnt die .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    Loved it but what happened at the end?!? Did she kill herself or not?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    NEWS IS COMMENTED&QUESTINED

    HERE

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Lol heist?

    I am so glad i wasn' t the only person who noticed overview

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    omg awesome book!!!!!!!!!

    i love it and especially santana who is amazingly awesome!!!!!! i think im in love haha

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 241 Customer Reviews

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