Sunday, February 9, 2014

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

How would you feel if you arrived home to a strange package on your porch? You open up the package to find cassette tapes telling you the thirteen reasons why your friend/ classmate Hannah Baker committed suicide.Your first thought would be to see who sent you the package. Just your luck-no return label. After you listen to the tapes, your life could change for good. Are you prepared to live with the guilt?

Clay Jensen is an average kid who is friends with Hannah Baker- just so happens he has a crush on her.  Like everyone else, Clay is upset when Hannah dies. He can't understand why she did what she did. 

One day Clay returns home to school to find a package wrapped in brown paper with no return label on his porch. He opens the package to find 7 cassette tapes wrapped up with a note attached.  Clay takes the package into the garage where he knows there is a cassette player.

Het turns on the first tape- her voice, Hannah's voice. He listens to the first tape:

1) Listen to the tapes, following the map is optional (Clay found a map in his locker a while ago and had no thought about it until he listened to the tape).
2) Once you are done with the tapes, pass it on to the next person- their story comes after yours
*A second set of tapes were made, if you don't pass the tapes on, everyone will hear what was on the tapes- they will know how you had a role to play in the suicide.

Clay listens to every tape waiting to hear his name- wanting to know what role he had in Hannah's death. As the the stories progress, Clay follows the map very carefully to get a better understanding of Hannah's life. 

Listening to the tapes made Clay mad. How could her friends act this way?  How could they not notice? His story. Clay finally hears his story. He cries. He knows he could have done something, but he isn't sure why he didn't. Clay  continues until he finishes all of the tapes. Do you blame him? Would you know how to react if you heard your name on the tape?

What were the thirteen reasons why Hannah committed suicide? Was is possible to have stopped her? What impact did Clay and his friends have on Hannah and her death? Read Thirteen Reasons Why to find out!

People often wonder why a person has committed suicide, what was the "snowball effect" that causes them to make their decision. Thirteen Reasons Why was  written in a way that we can understand that every action has an affect on a person and their decisions. Whether or not we choose to notice their cry can only make their decision that much stronger.

The fact that the book was written in the point of view of a teenager who committed suicide giving us her story was really cool and a very different kind of book than I usually read. I think the idea and  message of the story is  what made the book more enjoyable. The book itself has good intentions and ideas, however the actual story was neutral, just another story. I think the way it was written is unique and defiantly worth reading, unless you are under the age of thirteen or fourteen for graphic and topic reasons. 

Well I am off  to read another book,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

 Imagine  you were dead. Sounds impossible right? Now imagine you wake up in an unfamiliar bed, in a strange room on a ship headed to Elsewhere, almost as if it were a dream. Welcome to Liz's new life.

Elsewhere--the place where one goes to after they die to start their new life. A place where you age backwards and spend your days doing the "job" you love.

Liz Hall is a typical fifteen year old girl. Excited about driving, high school graduation and college. Everything changes when she is hit by a taxi and dies. Liz finds herself on a new journey in Elsewhere.

Liz thinks this is all just a dream; the ship, her  new friend and roommate Thandi, and her death. Well, to be fair, Liz doesn't understand that she is in fact, dead. It takes a little while before Liz adjusts to her new life. She is welcomed off the ship by Betty, her long departed grandma who she had never met before (Betty passed away from breast cancer when Liz's mom was pregnant with her). Betty is so excited to meet her granddaughter. Liz was happy to meet her grandmother, to be dead, not so much.

It takes a while for Liz to adjust. For months after her arrival, Liz spends all of her time (and Betty's money) at the observation deck, watching the lives of her friends and family back on Earth. Liz is stuck in a slump, will she ever get out?

Can Liz learn to love her new life in Elsewhere? Or will missing life back on Earth cause her to make the wrong decisions? 
Read Elsewhere to find out! 

I really liked this book, I couldn't put it down- I mean, I read it in two days! Though I thought the topic was a little strange and unlike most of the books I usually read, it was a unique and interesting concept. One thing I really took away from the book is that life is short, and we must appreciate the small things. Though they might not seem like a big deal at the time, when it matters most, the small things will be the most memorable. Another thing, sometimes one is put into a situation that can't be changed. Instead of being upset, try to make the best of it, you might find thinking positive will actually make the situation a whole lot better. I think this book is appropriate for teenagers since the topic of the book might be difficult for younger children. 

Favorite quote:
"In the end, the end of life only matters to friends, family, and other folks you used to know... for everyone else, it's just another end."

Time to go read another book,