Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"You are lost and gone forever, oh my darling, Valentine"

12 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

It's almost creepy how good the algorithm at Bol.com knows what I like. Based on my previous purchases, it recently recommended Jay Asher's 2007 New York Times bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why, which I bought because I found the synopsis very intriguing. I started reading it on Sunday and was unable to put it aside, moving only to change positions on the couch, tearing through the book in one absorbed afternoon. 

High school student Hannah Baker has committed suicide. As is often the case with suicides, no one saw it coming. Especially the rather timid Clay Jensen. Upon arriving from school one day, Clay finds a package with seven cassette tapes, recorded by Hannah. Via the tapes, she addresses, in order, the 13 people who played a role in her death. Clay has no clue what he might have done, but as he listens to the tapes, he begins to understand why Hannah saw no way out.

Thirteen Reasons Why does a great job of explaining how suicide can truly become someone's last resort. It's heartbreaking to discover how Hannah gets caught in a web of groundless rumors, other people's actions, and unwanted consequences. Additionally, the cassette tape format and simultaneous narratives of Hannah and Clay are wonderfully executed. Universal Studios acquired the movie rights to Thirteen Reasons Why in February, 2011. The movie, which shall feature Disney star Selena Gomez as Hannah Baker, is slated for a 2014 release.

Don't hesitate to check out the Th1rteen R3asons Why Project!

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