Oct 28, 2010

Audio Review - TH1RTEEN R3EASONS WHY by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice explains that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. 

I listened to TH1RTEEN R3EASONS WHY with my teenage daughter on a (very) long car trip to Oklahoma. I knew the subject would be sensitive, but I have heard so many wonderful things about this book that there was no way I could pass it up.

I loved having the voice of Clay and Hannah spoken aloud. It is easy to get lost or turned around in a book with dual perspectives. Hearing two distinct voices helps keep the story straight - especially for a young reader.  The faint whispers from Clay into Hannah's scenes gave me the chilly-bumps. Clay would quietly ask Hannah questions. He would plead and apologize. Those scenes, where Clay had a hushed voice, were the most touching part of the story.  I think if I read the book I would have missed some of the emotion.

They story itself is an important one. Suicide. It is a sensitive subject, but one that can not be ignored. This was a great opportunity for me to speak with my daughter about the importance of a community and the roles people play. We all teach our children "Sticks & Stones," but hurtful words carry weight. They settle to the bottom of your heart and can lay there for a lifetime. I think every teenager should hear Hannah's story. Better yet, read with your child and have a conversation!

Blurb from Ellen Hopkins: Every once in awhile you come across a book that you can't get out of your mind, one you have to rush back to if you must put it down for some reason. Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those books, and is at the very top of my personal "Must-Read" list.

If you know anyone who has talked (or even joked) about committing suicide - DON'T ignore them. Ask for help!

Happy Reading!