I read a powerful novel a couple years ago and just reread it yesterday: “Thirteen Reason Why” by Jay Asher.
From Amazon: When Clay Jenson plays the casette tapes he received in a mysterious package, he’s surprised to hear the voice of dead classmate Hannah Baker. He’s one of 13 people who receive Hannah’s story, which details the circumstances that led to her suicide. Clay spends the rest of the day and long into the night listening to Hannah’s voice and going to the locations she wants him to visit. The text alternates, sometimes quickly, between Hannah’s voice (italicized) and Clay’s thoughts as he listens to her words, which illuminate betrayals and secrets that demonstrate the consequences of even small actions. Hannah, herself, is not free from guilt, her own inaction having played a part in an accidental auto death and a rape. The message about how we treat one another, although sometimes heavy, makes for compelling reading. Give this to fans of Gail Giles psychological thrillers. by Dobrez, Cindy
This book is controversial, some people find it powerful and real while others find fault in it and find it unrealistic. I read this entire book in one sitting both time – I was engrossed, I was overcome by emotions, I found myself empathizing with Hannah. I found this book to be powerful and filled with reality.
It’s critics state that the reasons Hannah commits suicide for would not be real reasons. That they were trivial at best. I will tell you now that as someone who was once suicidal, her reasons were quite valid. When one thing comes after another, and it all affects how others see you, treat you,and how it changes how you see yourself, I found Hannah’s story and reasons to be more true than anything else I have ever read.
I would highly recommend everyone read this book, young and old alike. It really helps you see how sometimes what we do or say affects others in ways we can’t possible imagine, especially when it is added together with other things we don’t even know about. To me, the point of Hannah’s story is that we be aware of our words and actions as we never know what someone else is going through. We never know what might send someone over the edge. It also shows the power of bullying. I saw so much of myself in this book. It makes me wonder how things may have changed in my life if someone had just reached out. Luckily, I made it though the traumatic times. But now, when I see people, especially those with sadness hidden in their eyes, I try to give just a simple ‘hello’ or something to show someone cared enough to give even the smallest gesture.
If you ever get to read this book or have already, I would love to know your thoughts.