Rating: 4 stars
Shelf: Reading Now
What a challenging book to read. At the start, it made me angry. It didn’t really seem as though Hannah committed suicide because she just couldn’t face another day – it seemed as though she committed this tragic act as a means to get revenge on the 13 people who are forced to listen to her tapes. I thought that this book was going to be a book about bullies. And while the kids that affected Hannah’s life weren’t the nicest, many of them didn’t quite deserve to get the brunt of Hannah’s own obvious emotional problems. How dare she do this to those kids?
Then by the end, I sympathized more with Hannah. Her story started to change and as the dots connected, from one person to the next – it was easier to see that she wasn’t really blaming the individuals so much as trying to teach them to see outside of their small box. I mean – she did out some of them for some truly terrible actions. But, mostly she finally admits: “No matter what I’ve said so far, no matter who I’ve spoken of, it all comes back to – it all ends with – me.”
I mostly have to wonder what Jay Asher’s purpose was with the story and with the characters. Were we supposed to sympathize with Hannah straight away? Or did he want us to feel the true range that all of us feel that have been affected by something like this? Because – I have and… it was fairly spot on. When my friend killed himself I was extremely angry and confused. There were times when I really hated him for what he did. But I was also so sad and I missed him terribly. And I wished there was more I could have done. And, like Clay, I started watching everyone around me so that next time, I will be able to reach out, reach beyond.
Good work, Mr. Asher. Good work.