By the Time You Read This I'll Be Dead Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of By the Time You Read This I'll Be Dead

A young teenage girl named Daelyn wants to die and plans to commit suicide with the help of an on-line, interactive website for life completers. For Daelyn Rice, high school is as torturous as both elementary and junior high. Bullies continue to come at her from all angles. She knows she is overweight and the neck brace she is forced to wear doesn't help matters. It draws attention to her and kids are ruthless. They call her deaf to her face. Don't they get it she isn't deaf, she's mute after a failed suicide attempt badly scars her vocal cords. Daelyn has attempted suicide three times, and is determined to be successful h the next time.
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To aid in her own demise Daelyn finds a website to help her with her mission as a completer. On the web she Daelyn is able to connect with others who have been bullied and who share painful stories of abuse. They encourage one another in their efforts to complete their time on earth looking forward to the end.

Since Daelyn can't speak she escapes into a world of books in order to avoid having a relationship with her parents whom she feels cannot begin to understand the high levels of her suffering. After her third suicide attempt she remains on suicide watch with her parents hovering over her which annoys Daelyn to no end.

Each day she waits on a bench following school for one of her parents to pick her up. Santana tries to befriend her, Daelyn totally ignores him. He is determined to win over the “mystery girl”. Daelyn's trust issues run so deep that she can't fathom why a boy, even a weird one would want to talk to her. Santana is not threatened by her silence in fact, he seems encouraged to wait her out. He doesn't know that she plans to take her life in twenty-three days. An avid calendar watcher, Daelyn begins throwing away her personal possessions one garbage bag at a time so that her mother doesn't realize that things are going missing.

Santana has issues of his own the eighteen-year-old is dying of cancer. The dreaded disease has come out of remission. He and his artist mother whom he refers to as Ariel handle things as a team. He has been home schooled but lives right across the street from the all-girls school. Daelyn gets to meet Ariel when her mom has a meeting and can't pick her up for hours after the final bell. Daelyn falls in love with the warmth of Santana's home and even tolerates Ariel's questions about her inability to speak, and her neck brace.

Every now and then Daelyn will write down an answer to Santana's questions. No one knows she was physically assaulted and narrowly escaped being raped in junior high school. The one boy she trusted betrayed her and he and his friends took they young girl lower than she'd ever felt before. Daelyn shares this information with no one. Not her parents or even her therapist. Her memories of being forced to attend “Fat Camp” are almost as bad.

Daelyn doesn't believe in God even though she attends a fancy Catholic school for girls where the others are rich. They are not any nicer, their money and privilege makes them even more mean and Daelyn an easy target.

Santana's courage in facing cancer and his inability at having a choice in his early death cause Daelyn to look at her selfishness. As the twenty-three day gets closer to her last day of living Daelyn considers Santana, his friendship and the fact that she may have a few reasons for staying alive.
Best part of story, including ending: I thought this was a very depressing story, Daelyn's parents could have done more to help her.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was when Daelyn accepted Santana's offer of friendship.

Opinion about the main character: I liked Daelyn's intelligence, an on-line forum was used as a platform for her to communicate her level of inner pain.

The review of this Book prepared by C. Imani Williams a Level 13 Blue-Winged Teal scholar

Chapter Analysis of By the Time You Read This I'll Be Dead

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   dying Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Brain/Body disability?    -   physical disability

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like By the Time You Read This I'll Be Dead

Julie Anne Peters Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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