Unfortunately, Downham's publisher has handicapped Before I Die by
labeling it a young-adult novel, thus ghettoizing this gem to the back of most
bookstores. It's a shame, because this book is vastly superior to most so-called
adult novels with high-school-age protagonists that have been embraced by the
Read the rest of the review (which is glowing) here.
It reminds me of a cocktail party conversation a former colleague once had with a non-kids' book person about Tony Earley's book Jim the Boy. Upon being told that, given the subject matter and voice, the book could've easily been published as YA, the NKBP said, "But it's so well-written!" Yearrrgh.