Friday, September 9, 2011

13 Reasons Why (Jay Asher)

The blog got a face-lift over the weekend, and now it's time for our first guest post. Please welcome the fabulous Audrey Gibbons to the blog with this awesome post (I really want to read this book now!). Look for more from Audrey in the future, because this girl knows her YA Lit!

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razor Bill (Imprint of Penguin)
Length: 288
Rating: 5/5


Hello, boys and girls.  Audrey Gibbons here.

As most of you know it’s not easy to pick the next book to read (there are so many!) There are three reasons why I first decide to read a book:
            Reason 1:  YA Fiction.  In her last blog, Emily mentioned that she likes YA fiction based upon the fact that young adults have so much more hope and belief in change than adults.  I agree 100%.  There is something about YA fiction that makes a person think more than an adult book can.  Teens have growing minds that are ready to accept all sorts of knowledge to form their own opinions and decisions on life, whereas most adults have already developed theirs.  check.
            Reason 2:  The first sentence.  If an author can hook me in the first sentence, then I read the next and the next, and soon I’m on page 15 without having left the bookstore with a 13-year-old staring up at me wondering why there is a 22-year-old standing in her section.  First sentence:  “‘Sir?’ she repeats. ‘How soon do you want it to get there?’” Seriously, how can you not read on? check.
            Reason 3:  The last sentence.  It’s not a spoiler since you haven’t read it yet. I recently read that spoilers actually add enjoyment to our reading experience.   (I won’t spoil the thrill of letting you all read the last sentence.) check.

Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why has been on the NYT bestseller list for quite some time now, but it was actually published the year I graduated high school (2007).  Perhaps it’s just now picking up speed because recently adults are realizing how awesome YA fiction is to read.  This YA novel is extremely important for teens and adults to read.

            Reason 4:  Asher beautifully captures the teenage mind.  Not only does he create a story from the point of view of Hannah Baker, but also from the view of Clay Jensen.  Hannah’s voice is eerily cheerful and my stomach hurt every time I remembered she was not alive.  Clay’s voice is confused and hurt and I just wanted to hold his hand. 
Reason 5:  This novel will appeal to boys and girls, men and women.  Asher reminds us that what we say affects others and sometimes words can “snowball” downhill. 
Reason 6: The PLOT.  Hannah Baker was a new girl at her High School just trying to fit in, but one kiss in high school has a way of getting caught in the rumor mill.  The always-nice Clay Jensen’s life changes forever when he finds the package of tapes on his front doorstep.  Seven cassettes makes thirteen stories, and changes thirteen lives. Asher has you jumping back and forth between present and past events that all influence each other.    Could you listen to a dead girl speak about why she killed herself—and by the way: it’s your fault? This idea torments Clay since he thought that Hannah was— oh I won’t spoil it.

Alright, the reasons start getting shorter.

            Reason 7:  It’s insanely creative how he uses out-dated technology.
            Reason 8:  Sometimes I got so mad at the characters that it was comparable to my hatred for Umbridge—which is Reason 9: Asher’s writing skillfully brought me into the novel. The downside? Reason 10: This was a book I couldn’t put down, but had to at times because it was painful and upsetting to read.

Something that annoyed me that only anal people would be annoyed by:
Reason 11: The map and red stars on the back of the front cover do not match up to the book exactly.  If there’s a map, I will play along too.  When the map doesn’t coincide with the book, it takes out the fun. So, who’s going to take the time to make a new map for me?

It all has to end eventually:
Reason 12:  After I finished this book I could not stop thinking about how real this novel felt.  The style, the writing, and the characters fit together perfectly.  The best part? Hope.  A quintessential theme in YA fiction.
AND I have a favorite quotation:
Reason 13: “see me/for my soul/alone”
(I’m such a sucker for poetry).


Thanks Emily for letting me guest blog! 
Thank you for posting! -Emily

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