By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Publish Date: January 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.
Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she’s waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she’s made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won’t give up. And it’s too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life…isn’t it? (From GoodReads)
The story starts in a typically generic town. There’s nothing special about the area, nothing that makes it extreme, or out of place. It screams everyday American town. That’s the key to Daelyn’s story. This is an everyday, typical place. This is normal for all parties. That’s what makes it so tragic because this does happen and on the regular. Peer bullying and parental disregard is devastatingly common.
I give my full support to Daelyn. I understand her fatigue and her apathy. Peer bullying is one of the hardest things to deal with. She’s tired of dealing with it and on top of peer bullying her parents aren’t so sympathetic either. She’s tired of dealing with that too. Her thoughts, and ideas, her wish for a complete end is absolutely reasonable. She is entirely sane and totally reasonable; she’s just tired of attempting to try. How many times can someone fail before it crushes them? That is the most tragic part of this story while I’m reading I’m trying to figure out what I would say to argue against suicide, and honestly with all that she’s been dealt, I can’t think of anything credible.
Then Santana is introduced to the mix. He is a light in all the darkness. Daelyn tries mightily to ignore his wit and sarcasm but like recognizes like. While Santana doesn’t have Daelyn’s view on life, his tragedy is a lot more consuming then hers. I think that’s the point he’s trying to get across to her throughout the story. Here is this wonderful, upbeat, positive person and what ails him is million times more everything then what Daelyn’s facing. The difference is he faces his with Hope and Courage instead of giving up.
Daelyn’s tale is a real eye opener. Or a slap in the face for those that pretend it doesn’t happen. The absolute common truth is simple; those that are different are treated with disregard, spite, hatefulness, and/or deceit. I love the fact that Ms. Peters doesn’t gloss it over and play it down or beef it up and overdramatize it. It simply is. This is a very real cause and effect story. I recommend this to anyone who’s ever been bullied and anyone who’s ever done the bullying.