So, Challenge 2020, what book do we have next? A book that has been banned – Thirteen Reasons Why.
Now why was this banned? It was banned in America, mainly in schools and colleges because it was seen to be glamorising suicide. Here in the UK, I think most of us only know about it because of the Netflix series.
“You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret is to press play.”
The premise of this book is simple. Not complicated like many other books. Hannah Baker was a student like any other. But unlike some students, she found herself at the end of rumours that were false, games and jokes and struggling with life as a whole. Hannah Baker committed suicide.
“But it’s more than just a scratch. It’s a punch in the stomach and a slap in the face. It’s a knife in my back because you would rather believe some made-up rumour than what you knew to be true.”
Two weeks have passed since Hannah’s suicide and Clay Jensen, a pupil at the same school as Hannah, a classmate and also his first love, comes home to find a package with his name on it on his doorstep. Inside the package are seven cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker before she died.
“…did you notice the scars you left behind?”
On each cassette, actually, on each side of the cassette, Hannah explains a reason for why she killed herself. All told, there are thirteen reasons why. Clay is one of them. He must listen to all the tapes to find his name and his story. He must listen to find out why.
“I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.”
In one night, Clay wanders the streets with a Walkman in hand, listening to Hannah. What Clay discovers will change his life forever. But it won’t be just his life affected by Hannah’s revelations…
“Step-by-step. That’s how we’ll get through this. One foot in front of the other.”
Now this is going to sound strange, but I enjoyed this book. I didn’t find it as sad as I was expecting but then I’m not sure if that’s what the author intended us to feel. But I’ll come back to that. Most of the tapes has a substantial story, a solid reason in there. But Clay’s tape for me, was a bit of a disappointment. The whole book builds up to his tape and then when his story drops it drops like a lead balloon.
You can find it on:Amazon
Now I mentioned above about what the author, Jay Asher, wanted us to feel right? I think although some sadness would be normal with the theme of he book, I think the main thing that he wanted us to take away from this was to think. Because although Hannah’s decision to take her own life was entirely her own, the way others treated her and spoke about her impacted her in such a way that she felt like it was the only way out. We have to start to consider how our words, our actions impact each other. We don’t know what someone else is going through.
Please look out for each other guys and girls. Through this book Hannah dropped signs that things weren’t right. That she wasn’t okay and she was struggling. But no one listened. No one reacted. We all need a little help sometimes, I get that. So that’s why i’m putting this out now – if you need to talk to someone then I am always here. You have friends and family around you. But I’m here too.
It’s okay not to be okay.
“The signs were all there, all over, for anyone willing to notice.”
Due to this corona virus outbreak, I’m taking the opportunity to try and read The Voyage of the Beagle as it’s a big old book and it’s on my list for my challenge so I’ll try and put up a blog post or two in the mean time! If there’s anything you’d like me to cover then please leave a comment below.
Until next time,
Keep reading and stay safe,