Posts tagged ‘grief’

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

marchetta1 Have you ever turned on the radio and its in the middle of a new song and you like the song for all the reasons you like music: rhythm, beat, lyrics, voice… but you really don’t know what its about?  Like any of the songs from sgt.pepper, for example?  So you want to listen to it again thinking you will figure out how, say “Lovely Rita” relates to “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” ? That’s what happened for me with Jellicoe Road.

I think when i read it again, i will break with affection for these characters. First time though, i liked them and felt for them, but i found it very challenging to map their experiences and relationships;  I felt always out of synch as a reader and it got in the way of the story, for me.

It is a remarkable story of love and grief and family and truth and the lengths we go to try to  protect those we love.  John  WLS

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February 4, 2009 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY by Jay Asher

13Published in late 2007, Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those books whose audience becomes its best marketers, and somehow achieves cult-like status among its readers. It is the story of Hannah Baker whose sucide shocks everyone at her school because no one could have predicted that the beautiful, popular Junior would ever take her own life. Sara left behind something that will help some of her classmates have a better idea of how each of them played a role in her suicide: a box of 13 cassette tapes in which she tells her story of hurt, isolation and despair. The box is mailed from one former schoolmate to another, and we discover the tapes along with Clay, who made out once with Hannah at a party, and dreads learning why he is included among those who hurt Hannah so badly. The listening becomes a taut, mesmerising mystery as Hannah chronicles her downward spiral and her final appeal for help. But no one notices.  And no one hears her until the tapes arrive in the mail. By then it’s too late.

Suicide is a difficult topic in teen fiction, but Asher has found a way to make the story compelling and topical and especially painful for both Hannah, and those who have survived her. The final message of the story is hopeful and teens will immediately be drawn to discussing Hannah’s choices and the typical adolescent behaviors that are so often hurtful. Recommended for older teens. John S. WLS

November 18, 2008 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment


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