Monday, March 21, 2016

Nicole Speaks: Thirteen Reasons Why by: Jay Asher

Every now and then my sister drops by the blog to join me in my book rambling and share her thoughts. 
Release Date: October 18, 2007
Goodreads | Amazon
If you want to know more about Nicole, click here.

"Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers."

Nicole Speaks:
I must truly enjoy misery because Thirteen Reasons Why quickly became one of my favorite books.  Hannah Baker has left behind tapes explaining the thirteen reasons and thirteen people that led her to commit suicide.  Those tapes are passed along to those thirteen people in order of their appearance on her list.  Those thirteen people; Her "bakers dozen."  I read this book twice already. I finished it in one day, then decided I needed to immediately listen to it as an audiobook.  It was incredible and I cried both times. I balled like a baby the first time I read this book. But the second time... The second time was something else.  Listening to this book had an even more emotional effect than reading it because you got to listen to these tapes with Clay and hear the emotion in her voice as she told her story and as she hit her breaking point.  

There were thirteen reasons why Hannah decided she was going to commit suicide. Some of them seemed so small and like nothing. But it was all about the snowball effect. Every action, regardless of how meaningless, led to another.  Could you imagine listening to those tapes and hearing how something you did destroyed someone else's life?  These people had to live through that.  "My world was collapsing.  I needed those notes.  I needed any hope those notes might have offered. And you?  You took that hope away. You decided I didn't deserve to have it".  Some of them never knew what she was going through, and while that doesn't make what they did any better, some never expected how much their actions hurt Hannah.  This book shows how every action has consequences and you must think about how you could be hurting others. 

Clay had it the hardest. He loved Hannah.  One of my absolute favorite quotes from this book was "We didn't get that chance because I was afraid. Afraid I had no chance with you."  How often in life do we stop ourselves from doing what we want, or saying how we feel, out of fear?  I know I personally struggle with this almost every day. We never think how tomorrow that chance to speak up or act could be gone.   

The thirteenth person on her list was the most horrendous.  Other people may have broken the law, or intentionally hurt Hannah, but the thirteenth persons disregard as she reached out for help was the worst in my opinion. As we learn in the first few pages, one of her teachers is on her list.  As someone majoring in psychology, planning to get my masters in education and who has always wanted to be either a teacher or a child psychologist, this hurts me the most. How could someone not do their absolute best to try and help someone so clearly in need of help!?  Reading this was horrible, but listening to it was worse. Hearing her lose all hope in those final moments. Hearing her give up. I wanted to scream. I wanted to help her. 

As I near the end of my review there's nothing more appropriate than the heart wrenching moment of realization Clay has.  "I'm almost at the end. God. The end."  This book may have broke my heart every single tape and brought me to tears, but I learned so much from it.  Everyone has a secret life or story that we know nothing about and we could be impacting their life in a way we never imagined. More importantly, tomorrow is never promised and we should never hide how we feel. We must be kind to others, and be brave when it comes to ourselves.  Hannah left behind a lesson and an incredible story for her list as well as for all of the readers.

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful review, Nicole!

    My gosh, this one sounds like an emotional wringer! For real! I would probably cry as well while reading this one. It sounds like a very touching books as well. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I don't know if my heart could take reading it :)

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  2. I read this one a long time ago and I remember being slayed emotionally after reading it. I love what you said about how we often stop ourselves from saying what we want, doing what we want, etc. It's so true, but there are no guarantees that tomorrow is promised to us. This is definitely a thought provoking, emotional book and you did a great job of capturing its essence in your review!

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  3. I'm so happy you're giving this book some love! It is not a happy book but I freaking loved it! And I kinda think it should be required reading for high schoolers. It is very thought-provoking and conveys the power of words...a power you don't really think about when you let loose those words. I love what you said about being kind to others and brave for ourselves. So true. And a lesson, that even at 40, was powerful. Great review, Nicole!

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  4. I'm so happy you enjoyed this one, Nicole! Such a great book and an important one, especially for young readers. Lovely review!

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