Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher *Review*

A girl you knew, a girl you had once kissed, has just committed suicide-and you're one of the reasons. How does that make you feel?

For Clay, one of the main characters in Thirteen Reasons Why, it makes him feel fearful, sickened and morose. Clay Jensen has just received a package at his front door with no return address. He opens it to find seven audio cassettes. Curiously he inserts the first tape, presses play...and hears the voice of Hannah Baker, a girl from school who had just killed herself.

Hannah shares with her listeners the thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Thirteen people who set off a chain of events that Hannah could not recover from. Actions and words that made her feel smaller, laughed at, used and insignificant.

Reading this book made me think back to my junior high and high school years. Were there times I ignored people when I should have said hi? Times when I should have reached out instead of pushing away? Did I ever become part of a chain of events in somebody else's life? God, I hope not. And if I did- please know that I am truly, truly, sorry.

Jay Asher's debut novel is an excellent view into the life of a teenager on the edge of despair. A teenager who with one kind word could have had a shot at life. I loved this book and have encouraged my sixteen-year-old son to read it. I want him to understand how powerful an encouraging word or a small act of kindness can be in the life of someone who so desperately needs it. 4.5/5 stars