Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thirteen Reasons Why

Another offering from the rapidly expanding number of first books by new authors that I have added to the library collection this term is Thirteen Reasons Why, byJay Asher. Clay Jensen arives home from school one afternoon and finds a box addressed to him, a box that contains thirteen cassette tapes. After locating an old stereo capable of playing this audio format, he learns it is, essentially, the story of a class mates life. Only, this school mate has recently committed suicide.

"I hope you're ready, because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why." (p.6)

Compelled by a lingering sense of guilt, he liked Hannah and was hesitant to approach her with more than friendship because of her reputation and popularity, Clay begins listening to Hannah's last days and learns more than he bargained for; secrets, lies, cruelty, and rumors led to the ultimate decision regarding life and death. This is a thoughtful and compelling work that intersperces Hannah's increasingly despairing voice with that of Clay's questioning and guilt, providing readers a glimpse into each teens perception and understanding of the truth. The teen voice in this novel rings true and makes it all the more gripping.

I would have liked more links to suidide hotlines and information at the end of the book and accompanying web site, Thirteen Reasons Why. The web site has an interactive map that accompanies the book and a message and podcast interview with the author.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

"A lot of you cared just not enough."