Friday, December 12, 2008
Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay AsherOctober 2007
Thirteen reasons why I like this book:
1. The set-up. Each chapter is one side of a cassette tape. Our main character, Clay, is listening to the tapes, and interspersing his own thoughts with the commentary from the tapes, which are being narrated by Hannah, who has committed suicide. Each side of the cassette tapes focuses on one person who affected the life of our dead heroine - and not necessarily in a good way. And the tapes are being sent to each of these 13 people so they can listen (and hopefully learn).
2. Jay Asher is a local author. Not that I know him or anything, but it's still cool.
3. I am convinced the Crestmont Theater in the book is our local Fremont Theater. Also very cool.
4. I am also convinced that the coffee shop is modelled after Linnaea's, another local hangout. When I was in high school it was cool (in a totally nerdy way) to drink coffee there. And I'm going to stop saying cool now.
5. There was good mixed in with the bad. Kudos to the author for not making a book on teenage suicide a total downer...not that it wasn't sad, but it wasn't totally devoid of hope.
6. As a former teacher of teenagers (not one of the highlights of my life), I think Asher did a fantastic job of capturing both the incredibly shitty behavior that teenagers are capable of and the fleeting moments of maturity that they also exhibit.
7. Which reminds me yet again why I'm glad I'm not a teacher. Thank you, Jay Asher.
8. Teenagers lie. They party. And they have sex. Asher tells it like it is.
9. Clay. I heart Clay.
10. Despite the occasional confusion of Clay's voice competing with Hannah's voice, the story sucked me in. Sucked me in, tied me down, and kept me from cleaning the house.
11. There's a website. And it has the map. (Hannah includes a map of places of significance in with the tapes that she sends to the 13 reasons why.)
12. When I was exploring the website, and Asher's myspace page, I saw lots of comments from teens. And while it's technically a YA book, Thirteen Reasons Why is getting all sorts of positive responses from people of all ages. I love books that transcend genre.
13. While this final reason is not necessarily related to the book, the author is also part of a joint blog, the hysterical Disco Mermaids.
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