13 Reasons Why

While I was reading easyondeyes blog post yesterday about the book, The 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan Begat, I was reminded about another book, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I still get chills thinking about it.

The basic story revolves around a girl’s suicide and an audiotape she made just prior to taking her own life. She sends the tape to the first person on her 13-reasons-why list with instructions that they read it and pass it on to the next person until it reaches the last person. She tells them that she made copies, which she sent to someone else who would continue the process should one of the people on the list not pass it on. Her words on the tape are interspersed with the actions of one of the recipients of the tape and how it profoundly affects him. He never sees the other 12 people she talks about in the same way again and he seriously thinks about how he might have changed the outcome if he had only had the courage to do something sooner.

It is a powerful YA novel that really makes a person think about their actions and how they affect others. Thirteen Reasons Why details how 13 people impacted the girl’s life in such a profound way that she felt she had no choice but to end her anguish permanently. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend that you do, especially if you have teenagers or if you suspect someone you love is depressed. It might save a life.

What books have YOU read that had a powerful impact on you?

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6 comments on “13 Reasons Why

  1. I think I’ll look into this book. I admit that part of what concerns me about the description here is that there seems to be an implication that someone could have prevented the suicide. That’s unnerving to me because I know that one of the most horrifying and damaging aspects of suicide is that pretty much everyone who ever knew the person wonders what they could have done to prevent it *for the rest of their life*. I have friends who tell me that they still wonder what they could have done to stop a person they worked with from killing himself, though they didn’t even know there was a problem. They blame themselves forever. It’s a harsh sentence for any suicidal person to put on other people forever. And some may say that knowing that people will blame themselves would be an additional motivator for a suicidal person — since many suicides are done out of anger as much as anything else. Anyway, I’m curious about this book! I think I’ll look into it! Thanks!

    • The book also points out some of the signs of suicidal thoughts which might help someone notice when a depressed person is ‘reaching out’ for help. Hope you will find the book enlightening.

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