Sunday, February 21, 2010

(23) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why is a book that lives up to the hype. It has been on teen bestseller lists ever since it was published in October 2007 and has won numerous awards all over the country. And it has deserved every single award.

One day Clay gets home from school to find a shoebox on his front porch. The shoebox is full of cassette tapes. Tapes that his classmate, Hannah Baker, recorded before committing suicide. There are thirteen reasons why Hannah Baker committed suicide. Alone, each of those reasons seem inconsequential. Common problems that all teens deal with. But, put them all together and you have thirteen reasons why Hannah committed suicide.

Jay Asher has written a book that should be required reading for all teens. What happens to Hannah Baker is the perfect example of what can happen when teens go wrong. It is ugly and it is permanent. Death is permanent.

I have never had anyone close to me commit suicide. My college roommate attempted suicide and it haunts me to this day. Her suicide attempt was one of the reasons why I did not continue with my college education. But her suicide attempt was for purely manipulative reasons. I know this now, but then, it was traumatic for me. Especially since I was the one who found her after she swallowed those pills. Dealing with that was obviously tough for me. Jay Asher has done an excellent job of illustrating the effect Hannah's suicide has had on her classmates. To say it is traumatic for Clay is an understatement. The book follows him as he listens to the tapes and hearing Hannah's reasons why is traumatic for him.

>/p> Good job, Jay Asher. You wrote an excellent book. You perfectly illustrated how our actions make an impact on the lives of others. Exactly the message that the teenagers of today needed to hear. As a step-mother to soon-to-be teens, I thank you.


Lisa Mandina said...

I read this last summer, and also enjoyed it. I felt that it was a good thing for kids to read so they know just how one little thing they say to someone or do to someone can affect their whole life. I think I reviewed it in my blog, and it also reminded me how I think everyone should read the book "How Full is Your Bucket" which touches on this same phenomenon.

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

I agree. This is one of those books that help kids see that their words/actions make an impact, no matter what they think. I totally understand why it is so popular.

Rita said...

I think I'll be getting this one from the library this week. I have a feeling I will need lots of tissues.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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