Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

It's weird to think that 10 years ago, September, I started high school. I remember having my first real "boyfriend" the summer before high school and deciding to dye and cut my hair and have him freak out. I remember deciding that I wanted to join the wrestling team and to do theater. I remember being freaked out because it was HIGH SCHOOL!!!
Me and some friends at the end of my freshman year. I'm the one with purple hair.

I also remember feeling like I didn't have a group. I didn't know who to hang out with. In 7th grade I hung out with the 8th graders, who all went on to high school and left me alone. In 8th grade I hung out with a few kids but they started getting into drugs and other things that I didn't want to be a part of. When I started 9th grade I wasn't sure where I fit in and I hated that feeling. Luckily I had the drama kids and I found Carolyn relatively soon after that but still.. it was scary.

Thirteen Reasons Why  is getting a lot of press lately, mostly because it deals with some really difficult subject matter. Suicide. While I'll admit it was difficult to read, I found it to be really thought-provoking. Basically, it Asher writes a story of a girl who commits suicide and then sends narrative tapes to people who are on her list, people who she felt treated her wrongly or contributed to her ultimate demise. I think the difficult thing abotu this book was realizing that our actions have an effect on others. Our teasing, our jokes, our laughter can really hurt others even if we don't mean it to. But the opposite is the same as well, our smiles, our hugs, our encouragement can bring people up, even if we don't realize it.

Reading Thirteen Reasons Why made me more aware of my actions and feelings towards others. I remember my first week of high school sitting in the gym with my P.E. class (which I was only in for a week before I switched to wrestling). There was a kid in my P.E. class who looked so sad and so down and so alone and I was afraid of him. I was afraid that he was going to be a kid who did something bad. I talked about how I remember Columbine and I'm sorry to say that I thought he would be a kid like that. He just gave off that vibe to me. So I was nice to him, I smiled at him, and I made sure that every time I saw him in the hall I said hello. If he was going to blow up my school, I sure as hell wanted to be on his good side. Now, of course, that sounds horrible to say, my motives were totally whack! But I know that the kid appreciated my kindness, he told me so in our senior year. Anyways, enough about me.  Thirteen Reasons Why is a good book, if anything maybe it will make kids think a bit more about their actions and words and how they affect others.

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