basically, it's about a young, beautiful girl who has such a fear of losing control - whether it be by aging, taking risks or falling love and giving herself completely, sexually or otherwise. she decides to commit suicide so that she can control even her death. unfortunately her suicide doesn't work and she wakes up in a mental institution where she is told by a doctor that her attempt has so weakened her heart that she has only one week to live at most.
with this information in mind, and with the help of a few other insane people, she manages to give up control and really to lose her "mind" only to discover the freedom of letting go. she falls in love with a schizophrenic who is not really mad after all and finally escaped with him...
i'd feel terrible to give the rest away; but you should all read the book. apparently there's a film based on the book - but i hate seeing films based on books because they're always so disappointing.
the question i have for myself is, what i would do if i thought i only had days to live? would the things and decisions and control that i impose upon myself seem so important if i knew that i was about to die? i used to be a very uncontrolled, and according to my parents, an uncontrollable person. as an "adult" (and i use that word loosely) i have imposed more strict guidelines on myself which i always thought was a good thing, fortunately, i'm not planning on dying today or any day soon (even though simon had a nightmare last night that i died) - but if i knew i were going to - what would i do? what would i do differently? what wouldn't i do?
read the book.