Yet another book I have been reading about on the book blogs, TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY by Jay Asher was captivating. A young woman in high schools commits suicide. A few weeks later, a boy she knew receives a box of cassette tapes in the mail. These tapes detail the thirteen reasons why she took her own life. The boy listening to these tapes can't stop listening and I couldn't stop reading.
This book is filled to the brim with teenage angst and if you are not careful, it can be easy to roll your eyes and chalk it all up to youth and inexperience. But take a minute. Try to remember how absolutely serious everything seemed in high school. That girl who made fun of your clothes or the boy you started a rumor about you? Those people are probably nothing in your life now, but back then it felt like nothing could be more important. Reading this book makes me glad to be out of that time of my life. It also make me worry about what it will someday be like for my children. How do I explain that "This too shall pass" is not just a ridiculous brush off. It really does all go away. High school is four short years and then it's over and you never have to see those people again.
This book shows exactly how our actions can affect the people around us. A harmless prank may not actually be so harmless. A little teasing sometimes isn't so funny. Along with Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, I do think this should be required reading in high school. Or maybe even middle school. I would love to hear what you think.
Also, visit Thirteen Reasons Why Project to see the impact this book is having even beyond it's pages.