Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sally Nicholls | Ways To Live Forever

List No. 1: Five Facts About Me

1. My name is Sam.

2. I am eleven years old.

3. I collect stories and fantastic facts.

4. I have leukemia.

5. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.

I bought this book on account of the fact it sounded in the same vein as my favourite book, Before I Die. How right I was, yet I don't think all of the love completely rubbed off. However, I did beam every time I noticed it on the to-read pile in my room and even bumped it ahead of the Great Gatsby. I rate this book 3.5/5 stars.

There are 200 pages in this book, although the chapters are very short and you could quite easily read it in a day if you tried.

The book is written from the perspective of an 11 year old boy. I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of this style (like in Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close) as I find it too simple and almost patronising. However, I think it is quite useful to create sympathy even though it's not really my cup of tea.

The cover is really nice and may I just add my bookmark was from Primary School, with a drawing of a 'Sunworm' (fictional) and a fact about the sun - this book is choc full of facts.


1) I'm obviously going to compare this to Before I Die - how could I not. Starting with the title, there's something in BID called 'keep death away spells'. Next, in both books, the main character has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (and I can tell you that you get bruising and aching bones). Also, both main characters have a list of things they want to do before they die, but all of BID revolves around the list and WTLF only partly uses this as the plot.

2) As I mentioned, WTLF is like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in that both characters are (or possibly around) 11, and the books have various tidbits printed on the pages - in this book, things like train tickets and postcards. In WTLF, these come closer to the end as if Sam wants to document his life further as it draws to a close.

3) The cover is similar to that of Tom's Midnight Garden, with a small boy silhouetted in front of a full, pale moon.

I do recommend this book as it does have its plot twists (or possibly not twists) and heartbreaking moments, and I do know that this younger perspective is quite popular. I'm just odd.

(Click here for a review of EL&IC) 

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