Today's post is going to be a little different. I'm not writing a review, per se, but more of a reflection. A written rumination. A slow meditation. Because that's what this book requires. It demands introspection. It begs for discussion.
What book did I read that insists upon so much?
Thirteen Reasons Why
If you're a big YA reader then you've probably heard of Thirteen Reasons Why. I had not even though it has been out for a while. My YA reading is typically limited to historical or dystopian novels. The first reading assignment for my YA class is realistic fiction. There were choices like The Fault in Our Stars or Eleanor and Park, but once I read the summary of Thirteen Reasons Why I just couldn't shake it. This story is about a boy named Clay who receives a shoebox full of tapes and a map with red stars. These tapes were recorded by his crush Hannah Baker documenting thirteen reasons why she killed herself. These tapes were to be passed along to the thirteen people Hannah felt were connected to her decision to commit suicide. They changed her life and now these tapes will change theirs'. Clay couldn't stop listening and I couldn't stop reading. Even when I did stop and went to bed (my version of) Hannah's voice was still playing in my head.
Thirteen Reasons Why challenges you to think twice about how you treat people. You may think something is harmless. Just a joke. Nothing of consequence. But you don't know what is happening in someones head. Your words just may be the final straw. So be kind. Go out of your way to be a friend. Make an effort to connect. You just might change someones life.
And Booknerds, if you're thinking of killing yourself please, PLEASE talk to someone. Call the Suicide Hotline @ 1 (800) 273-8255. I promise you're on this planet for a reason. There is a purpose for your existence. And even though you might not be able to see it right now, there IS a reason to live.