Thirteen Reasons Why
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pages: Paperback 304 pages
Jay Asher's brilliant first novel is a moving, highly original story that focuses on a set of audiotapes made by a girl before she committed suicide, and which explain to 13 people the reasons why she decided to end her life. Told in a highly effective duel narrative -- alternating between the girl s voice and the thoughts of a boy who is listening -- this honest, poignant story reveals how other people's actions shape, and by extension can ruin, an individual's faith in people. Intensely powerful and painfully real, Thirteen Reasons Why reveals how brutal high school can be, the consequences of spreading rumors, and the lasting effects of suicide on those left behind.
I have read many books that deal with tough subjects. They have come in all shapes and sizes, various formats and all dealing with a range of issues. Thirteen Reasons Why, however, is the first one that has left me seriously disturbed… in the best possible way. I have heard all of my life that my actions, words and everything I do have an effect on those around me whether I realize it or not. Honestly, I have never put too much stock into that until I started teaching. When I had a direct, visible impact on those around me- it hit, hard. Seeing that my students valued what I had to say (not only educationally speaking, but also with the advice- big and small- that they asked for) and took it to heart. I learned to be careful quickly.
This book has me reevaluating that again. Which is a great thing.
Hannah represents so many young people and to know that even her teachers overlooked her makes me reflect hard on this past year. It is no secret that this past school year was a tough year for me. Did I do everything that I needed to do to let my students know that I loved and respected them? Did I show them that in my actions or did I roll my eyes and blow them off? Kinda scary! I loved the double point of view in this novel and how we experienced it just how Clay and the others did. Clay is such a profound character and I completely fell in love with him throughout this novel.
Jay Asher has done an amazing job with this novel and I am just so sorry that it has taken me so long to read this. If you haven’t read it RUN to your local bookstore and buy it. Then set aside time to read it because you are not going to want to put it down. I hope and pray that it has the same impact on you that it has had on me.
Ø LISTEN to the Hanna BakerTapes on www.youtube.com/Hannahsfriend13
Ø READ Jay Asher’s answers to thirteen questions about Thirteen Reasons Why in the back of the new paperback edition
Ø SHARE your story at www.13RWProject.com. It is a place (created by Penguin) for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why to record thoughts, stories, videos and photos relating to the book, and to view what other readers have shared. Each view is logged on a map to show the many locations that viewers are posting from, and all content is sharable through Facebook and Twitter!!
The anti-bullying anthem was published in hardcover in October 2007 by Razorbill, and quickly became a word-of-mouth favorite among teenaged readers with fans claiming, “This book changed my life.” The novel has been on the New York Times children’s hardcover bestseller list for 65 weeks, foreign rights have been sold into 30 countries and it has been acquired by Universal Pictures and will star Selena Gomez.
About the Author:
Jay Asher lives on the central coast of California with his wife and son. His favorite part of being an author is speaking with his readers at schools and libraries across the country.
Contest ends July 7, 2011