Rummanah Aasi
   In my Jumped book review, I discussed how one of the main characters worked as an enabler to a bullying incident. Now, let's take a look at the victim's perspective by reviewing Julie Ann Peters' haunting and gut wrenching novel "By the time you read this, I'll be dead".

Description: Daelyn Rice who has been bullied throughout her entire life by the kids in her school. Her parents have moved her from school to school in hopes of Daelyn starting over. Instead of listening to their daughter, Daelyn resorts to suicide as an answer to the abuse she is suffering. She has more than once attempted suicide unsuccessfully, but plans to kill herself for once and for all by registering on an suicide website called "Through-the-light" where she hopes to gain the right information. Meanwhile Daelyn befriends an unusual boy named Santana, who is also dealing with suffering, tries to draw her out of her troubles. Is Santana successful and will Daelyn live to see another day?

Review: Although "By the time you will read this, I'll be dead" is a very slim book at a 198 pgs, it took me a long time to finish it. It's not that I didn't like it, but it Daelyn's pain was so intense and the way her mind works was so morbid that I had to step away for a little bit at a time. Peters does an excellent job in explaining the monotony of Daelyn's life, how her parents talk at her and not to her, and a little ray of hope or promise by introducing Santana. Daelyn is mute for majority of the book, due to the latest botched suicide attempt. Her silence speaks louder than words. She speaks of the horrors she has endured by typing them in on "Through-the-light" forum board. Though most don't read her comments, the act itself is cathartic. Though Daelyn is a sympathetic character, readers must understand that she is emotionally damaged, single-minded in her goal and an unreliable narrator.
    "By the time you read this, I'll be dead" is one of those books that parents should read with their children and the talk should generate lots of questions, especially whether or not Daelyn was an all too willing victim to bullying. We need to be reminded that words are heavier than sticks and stones. They do break bones and shatter individuals. Note: A reader's guide, research on bullying, and lists of suicide warning signs, hotlines, and websites are appended.
     I've read lots of reviews where readers were turned off by the ending of this book, but I thought the book could not have ended in any other way. I like to believe that Daelyn's has changed, but you let me know what you think when you finish "By the time you read this, I'll be dead."

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: The methods of suicide appear in this book. Unfortunately, these methods can also be found easily on the Internet. I urge parents to read this book with their children. There is some language throughout the book.

If you like this book, try: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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