Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

Dedication: "For JoanMarie"

First paragraph: "'Sir?' she repeats. 'How soon do you want it to get there?' I rub two fingers, hard, over my left eyebrow. The throbbing has become intense. 'It doesn't matter,' I say."

Review: Clay Jensen's life is turned upside down with one package left on his front porch. Inside the package are seven cassette tapes which have recorded a voice he thought he'd never hear again. The voice of a girl who killed herself only a few weeks ago. The voice of a girl who is explaining how each person who will hear these tapes played a part in her decision to end her own life.

This book is a very interesting take on teen suicide. I think it touches on an important fact that many teenagers fail to understand - their actions can have long-lasting effects on themselves and those around them. This story could have ended so much happier if one person had been more mature, more empathetic, more kind. A great story - depressing, but great.

Hannah Baker, the girl who made the tapes, is someone you can really get to know. Her story is all laid out there for you and you really can empathize with her. I am not saying her choice to commit suicide was rational by any means but you can see how someone, going through what she was going through, could think that was her only option.

I think my favorite thing about this book was the last chapter/epilogue of this book. It's only a few pages long but it shows that we can learn from our previous mistakes and while we may not be able to right things in our past, we can take advantage of our future.

I would suggest this book to all and I would especially suggest this book to parents to suggest to their teens. This could be a book that leads into some important discussions with your children, take advantage of it. (That means parents should probably read it too).

Click here for the Thirteen Reasons Why website.

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