Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher connected with me in a way I didn't expect. I read this YA novel because my niece, Kaylee, asked me to. No other reason. I'd never heard of it. I knew nothing about it. Yet, if it was important enough for her to ask me to read it, I felt I needed to. Even with her description of the book, I'm not sure what I expected, but it certainly wasn't what happened. I started reading and couldn't stop. I was already tired when I started and yet I read until exhaustion took over. I felt upset because I couldn't stay awake to finish it. The next day I even broke one of my own rules and recommended the book on social media before I finished reading it or reviewed it. I even emailed a friend to recommend it for his teenage daughter. I found myself on a quest I didn't understand to get this book in the hands of teens and the adults in their lives. When I finished it that night, I cried and cried. I felt pulled and pushed. I recognized a period of time in my life that I'm loathe to admit existed let alone discuss. My heart ached for every person out there struggling to reach out for the help they need... The story isn't that extraordinary or surprising, and that is exactly what makes it so powerful. It is honest and tackles issues without treating teenagers either like they are unrealistically innocent or over the top bad. This is a story about real teenagers without the need to wrap the issues teenagers face in the supernatural or some kind of fantasy world. The realness of Thirteen Reasons Why comes in the fact that it describes situations that happen in teenagers' lives in schools and communities around the world every day of the week. Thirteen Reasons Why reminds us all that the actions we take today have repercussions that we may never anticipate and that may happen long after we've forgotten what we did. In fact, there is also the reminder that inaction can be as deadly as action. Asher weaves a story that is all too believable populated with characters that all too real even making the one or two things the reader may doubt at the beginning quickly seem irrelevant.
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted and four books of poetry. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, and traveling. Currently, she resides in Albany, Oregon.