Posts tagged ‘suicide’

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

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


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