Jenny Downham: Before I Die, You Against Me, Unbecoming


Jenny is a former actress and bestselling novelist. Her first novel, Before I Die, was an international bestseller and sold 1.3 million copies worldwide. It was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, nominated for the Carnegie Medal and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. It won the Branford Boase Award. It was also adapted for film as Now is Good in 2012 and starred Dakota Fanning. Jenny’s second novel, You Against Me won the inaugural Waterstones Teenage Book Prize in 2012. Jenny lives in London.

Unbecoming cover

Unbecoming: Three women – three secrets – one heart-stopping story. Katie, seventeen, in love with someone whose identity she can’t reveal.Her mother Caroline, uptight, worn out and about to find the past catching up with her. Katie’s grandmother, Mary, back with the family after years of mysterious absence and ‘capable of anything’, despite suffering from Alzheimers. As Katie cares for an elderly woman who brings daily chaos to her life, she finds herself drawn to her. Rules get broken as allegiances shift. Is Mary contagious? Is ‘badness’ genetic? In confronting the past, Katie is forced to seize the present. As Mary slowly unravels and family secrets are revealed, Katie learns to live and finally dares to love.

YouYou Against Me cover Against Me:  When Mikey’s sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie’s brother is charged with the offence, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, their worlds collide.

Before I Die cover


Before I Die: Tessa has just a few months to live. So she compiles her bucket list, her To Do Before I Die list. Number one is sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.


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