Narrator Kathryn Merry gives Daelyn Rice a voice almost deadened with pain after a lifetime of bullying, but also lets her intelligence and vulnerability shine through. Daelyn has tried to kill herself before, and although her parents try to protect her, she finds a Website that will give her advice on suicide and a chance to talk about why she wants to die. The only thing getting in the way is a boy at her school who keeps trying to speak to her even though she rejects him at every turn. Merry's performance is mesmerizing and listeners will find themselves caring and fearing for Daelyn, hoping that she will somehow find a way to come back from the brink.
After a lifetime of being bullied, Daelyn is broken beyond repair. She has tried to kill herself before, and is determined to get it right this time. Though her parents think they can protect her, she finds a Web site for "completers" that seems made just for her. She blogs on its forums, purging her harrowing history. At her private Catholic school, the only person who interacts with her is a boy named Santana. No matter how poorly she treats him, he just won’t leave her alone. And it's too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life...isn’t it?
In this harrowing, compelling novel, Julie Anne Peters shines a light on what might make a teenager want to kill herself, as well as how she might start to bring herself back from the edge. A discussion guide and resource list prepared by "bullycide" expert C. J. Bott are included in the back matter.
Would you listen to By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead again? Why?
Yes, there is so much going on it benefits from multiple reads.
What did you like best about this story?
The characters, the realistic approach to teenage suicide and depression.
Have you listened to any of Kathryn Merry’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I have not.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
All of it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The believable narration draws you in to the very heart a beautiful written heart breaking story, her best yet.