Parents' Guide to

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

By Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Realistic portrayal of a teen committed to killing herself.

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

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

A deep look into a very private world.

As my user name suggests I'm a rabbi and sometimes have to teach difficult topics to young people. So I am always on the look out for possible resources it was for this reasons that I read BTTYRTIBD. Whilst I am not going to use it in a classroom setting, as a novel it is fantastic indeed I was not expecting to enjoy it so much. But first a word of warning it is a difficult read and deals with the topic of suicide very frankly including the main character consideration of what methods she might use. It's focus is on it's main protagonist's interactions on a website for "completer's" (one side note as the novel dates from 2010 some of the tech feels a little out of date but it doesn't effect the story". We learn about her life, in the first person, and why she wants to end it. We also see the adults in it. Who are all well meaning. In what is set up as the final two weeks of her life a new friend enter's her life and we start to see her conflict about 'ending it'. Positives: 1. It feels really real, 2. You get a real sense of what her ending her life would do to those around her. 3. You see the effects that bullying can have. And 4. You see what reaching out might do. Negatives: As I as it feels very real. There are frank analysis of the methods that the main character might use 'to go' nb each is made to sound pretty horrid. Positives for parents and those using the book for teaching. There are great resources at the back of the booking (including helplines). BTTYRTIBD rings very true as Daelyn is getting ready to kill herself she slow disinvests herself of her 'stuff', there was a time when I was contemplating suicide and I remember doing just that and I like her arranged my little remaining stuff to take up as much room as possible. (I was not a teenager at the time). The only reason I gave it four rather than five stars is the ambiguity of the ending. But BTTYRTIBD is a fantastic book and as long as you're prepared to have frank disgussions afterwards. I unhesitatingly recommend it. But again one warning note as I say I'm a forty year old rabbi and at times I found myself weeping whilst reading it.

This title has:

Educational value
age 14+

Mature But Beautiful Book

This was probably the best book I have ever read. It was very clear about the ways to kill yourself, which I think was good but yet not so great for kids. Also, they do go in detail about her being 'violated' in the bathroom, which wasn't too bad but it wasn't neccesary. This book is beautiful, I couldn't put it down actually. But I recommend it to teens that are mature.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (20):

Daelyn is a realistic character whom readers will empathize with. The author makes her tragic story come to life, even when using devices that could easily fall flat (like chat board discussions). Her relationship with Santana seems a little too well timed. But, ultimately, this book will certainly give readers a lot to contemplate, especially its open-ended conclusion.

This author is known for teen books that push the envelope on edgy subject matter. Of course, sadly, it could certainly resonate with some teens for the wrong reasons.

Book Details

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