by Jenny Downham
Sixteen-year-old Tessa is dying of leukemia and creates a list of things she wants to do before she dies. This book is no "Bucket List," however. Yes, you'll need a box of Kleenex for the ending, but don't let that put you off. And yes, it's written for a teen audience, but I think adult audiences (with a bit more life experience) will appreciate this novel more. I'm not sure how the author got everything so right without ever tipping into sentimentality, but she did. Honestly, I can't recommend Before I Die strongly enough. It will stick with you for a long time. If you don't believe me, read the New York Times Book Review.