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Monday, March 19, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why

I wanted to pick up Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher after reading The Future of Us.  I had heard about the book prior and after reading Future I went ahead and requested it.

Hannah commits suicide, but before she does, she records thirteen notes on tape for those whom she believes set her actions in motion.  The story is told in first person by Clay, to whom one of those notes is addressed.  Hannah lays out her reasons and while not expecting everyone to assign blame, she does want people to recognize that how they treat others echoes in the lives of many.

I will be honest--I went in to this book a little skeptical.  I understood where the novelist was coming from regarding the plot and the overall message, but I had a difficult time wrapping my head around the idea of blame in a suicide when the blame comes directly from the person who made the choice to end their life.  But I put this aside for the sake of literature because ultimately it's about the book as a story.

Asher is a compelling writer.  I didn't want to put this book down because despite my misgivings on the theme, Asher writes a story that is engrossing and interesting.  He writes fully fleshed-out characters and understands the basics of strong story arc.   I didn't want to put the book down and when I had to I greatly looked forward to picking it up again.  I still have issues with the idea of passing around blame, but I have to say that the storytelling is hearty and the characters engender compassion. 

Do I think this book is worth a read?  Most definitely I do.  You should come to your own conclusions about the theme and the work.


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