Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why

I finished Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher a few days ago. I haven't written yet about it because I can't figure out how I feel. Here's the synopsis from amazon:
When Clay Jenson plays the casette tapes he received in a mysterious package, he's surprised to hear the voice of dead classmate Hannah Baker. He's one of 13 people who receive Hannah's story, which details the circumstances that led to her suicide. Clay spends the rest of the day and long into the night listening to Hannah's voice and going to the locations she wants him to visit. The text alternates, sometimes quickly, between Hannah's voice (italicized) and Clay's thoughts as he listens to her words, which illuminate betrayals and secrets that demonstrate the consequences of even small actions. Hannah, herself, is not free from guilt, her own inaction having played a part in an accidental auto death and a rape. The message about how we treat one another, although sometimes heavy, makes for compelling reading. Give this to fans of Gail Giles psychological thrillers.

Well written: yes
Creative: yes
She is clearly a very depressed girl with few coping skills or anyone she trusts to really listen. Number 13 on the list should be shot. If he existed in real life and the tapes became public I would hope that he would lose his job and any credibility. To me, this book belongs up there with Speak (one of the most important young adult books of the last 10 years). This book should be taught in schools if only as a way to begin real discussion. If you are a suicide survivor it will probably be painful to read. Read it anyway.

I would like to interview the author. I want to know why he wrote this book.

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