A review: Thirteen Reasons Why

While I was reading Thirteen Reasons I thought it was okay, well written, something different but nothing special. Once I had finished though, I started to think about the story more and somehow in hindsight I liked it a bit more.

‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher is a heartbreaking tale of teen suicide.

It’s one of those stories you read where you know what’s coming, you know that you can’t change what lies ahead, but you find yourself talking to the book, telling that one character what to do, what not to do, how to avert the disaster which so obviously awaits them – except it’s worse than that because from the very first sentence, the first word, it’s too late. Hannah Baker is dead.

Hannah has left behind a shoebox full of cassette tapes*  The box of tapes is making the rounds to a select list of people, people that Hannah feels are to blame, in part, for her death. Clay has just received the box. He has no idea why anyone would send him old audiotapes, but he heads into his garage and dusts off his dad’s stereo. He loads the first tape, hits play, and is shocked to hear Hannah’s voice. The voice of a dead girl. The girl liked.

‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ follows Clay as he struggles through each of the tapes.

Seven tapes, thirteen stories. He doesn’t want to listen, doesn’t want to hear his own name, but he can’t stop. He needs to know, he needs to understand.

‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ is Jay Asher’s debut novel. It’s very well written. The characters are real. The tragedy and loss, palpable. It’s also a story of how each of us touches, connects with, has an influence upon the lives of others around us and how we need to be more aware, more sensitive to that.

There is some content which I feel is not suitable for younger teens, namely sexual assault, so I won’t be passing this one to my daughter anytime soon, but I will make it available to her when she’s a little older.

*History lesson: Cassette tapes are from the stone age, ask your parents if they have any fossilized remains they could show you. Before Ipods and MP3s music came on CDs and before CDs music came on cassette tapes.

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Spring Break and stuff

I have been so busy being a mom this past week that I almost forgot to be me, and do all the me things that I love and adore and obsess over – such as taking care of my blog, updating my Pinterest boards, watching my favorite TV shows, visiting my friends, having long hot baths and walking.

I love walking, I was so excited when I started following Michael Moore on Twitter and realised that every so often he says he’s going for a walk and invites everyone to walk with him – I was disappointed when I realised that he’s never heading out on a walk when it’s convenient for me *sigh* so inconsiderate.

So anyways, this past week my small people have been home from school and I have been trying to keep them entertained. For five of the nine days I was parenting solo and boy, can I tell you I’m feeling so blessed that I don’t need to do that 365! My hat is off to all those mums and dads out there who parent solo and retain some small threads of sanity.

We have played board games, made arts and crafts, went outside with bikes and to draw with chalk, made cupcakes, ate ice cream, planted flowers and vegetables, played Wii games, watched movies, had sleepovers and built forts – it has been wonderful! We also spent a morning at the second hand book store, loading up on some good stuff for when we (me) needed a little quiet time and so while the kiddos were busy with Flat Stanley and The Uglies I managed to get through A Clash of Kings, the second book in the Game of Thrones series 😀  It’s just as awesome as the first one.

I also have a small stack of other titles added to my list of what to read next, I’m excited to get on with it.. the hard part is deciding which one to read first… and if it’s possible for me  to take a book on the trail with me later and not trip over anything/anyone.

A Review: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

Two stars is rather generous – sorry Mr Brown, I’m a big fan of some of your other novels but this one was clearly not from the same gene pool.
The main problem with this book is that the characters are super spies who work all day and all night making and breaking codes, they are cryptography geniuses and they have a big bloody super computer in a secret underground bunker (long story short: they know how to break codes, yeah?)

BUT – there’s a bad guy that’s about to destroy them all, or the universe, or something and there’s a clue discovered on page 5 (or there abouts) and the good guys spend the ENTIRE book trying to figure out the clue so they can discover the identity of the bad guy and his accomplice and put an end to his evil plans and save the cheerleader and actually anyone who can read above a third grade level can take a second and look at the clue and see exactly what it means.
I’m not usually one to nit pick and yell “Plot Hole!” but there you have it. Seriously.