Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I went into this book knowing that it was going to be a novel about suicide for teens.

Its not that I don't understand that life can be painful (especially during your teenage years) or that some people have problems dealing with things. I just got totally annoyed by the girl who committed suicide.

She commits suicide before the book begins. Our narrator, Clay Jensen, receives them in the mail and gets to go on a emotional roller coaster ride (with a punch in the face every thirty seconds). On the tapes, the suicide girl, Hannah Baker, says there are thirteen reasons/people why she is not among the living anymore.

And really, it all seemed like normal high school stuff. Getting put on mean lists, being sexually harassed, feeling like you weren't noticed...that's what high school is?

And the last person on the list has to go through this test, this test to see if he will answer her cry for help. She whispers into the tape recorder that this is the last chance for someone to save her. If this guidance counselor takes her seriously, she'll not do it. Only this guy? He's not really a guidance counselor. He's the English teacher filling in.

Bah. She makes it so difficult for anyone to help her, for anyone to reach through. Its frustrating as well, because at the end of the book? She's still dead. There's no adequate conclusion. And these tapes? They are torture. She is placing the blame squarely on these thirteen people. It is your fault I killed myself, she tells them, over and over and over.

I was thinking about how frustrated I was when Oasis's Don't Look Back In Anger came up on my random iPod shuffle.

Chill out about high school. And for God's sake, don't posthumously lash out.