Thirteen Reasons Why – Review and Thoughts

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*Spoilers are contained in this review* 

Thirteen Reasons Why is narrated by Clay Jensen as he follows the tapes that Hannah Baker left after her suicide. The narration flips between his thoughts in the first person and Hannah Bakers in the first person as he listens to the tapes she left to the people that caused her to commit suicide. Clay was in love with Hannah while she was alive and wasn’t sure how to tell her. He spends the first half of the story wondering why he of all people, caused her death.

At the beginning of the story Clay receives a mysterious package containing 7 cassette tapes. He listens to the first part of the first one in his parents’ garage and is surprised to hear Hannah’s voice on the tape. When his mother walks out into the garage he realizes he cannot listen to these tapes at home. He goes to his friend Tony’s house and steals Tony’s cassette Walkman to listen. He then continues to listen to the stories on Hannah’s tapes while traveling to the places Hannah mentions on her tapes. Clay soon learns the secrets of several of his classmates. When he comes to his tape (#9) Hannah tells him that he shouldn’t even be a reason, but his story is important to understanding the last couple reasons on the tapes. The last tape targets their high school counselor. Hannah takes the tape recorder into a meeting with him and Clay listens as their counselor does nothing to stop Hannah when she tells him how depressed she is, how she has nothing worth living for.  At the end of the novel Clay sends the tapes on to the next person and reaches out to an old friend who shows a lot of the same qualities of loneliness that Hannah did.

The book takes place in the places that Hannah has marked on the map as places that were part of her story including a coffee shop, her stalker’s home, the house of an infamous party, and her own home. Clay spends the story listening to the tapes and travels as Hannah refers to places on the map. He narrates his own feelings about the setting when he arrives and as Hannah’s story unravels.

The message in this book is to really look at the people around you, and to think about how even the smallest of actions can cause a person a lot of pain. Hannah refers to the butterfly effect in the novel: the idea that the beat of a butterfly’s wings can cause a tsunami on the other side of the world.

This book is part of the Young Adult genre and is aimed at high school students.

Jay Asher wrote Thirteen Reasons Why as well as three other novels: What Light, The Future of Us, and Piper (a graphic novel to be released in October of 2017). Jay Asher used a controversial way to promote Thirteen Reasons Why by releasing Hannah’s side of the story on “tapes” through Youtube. The website set up for Thirteen Reasons Why has many resources for teens who need to talk, who are depressed, or who are suicidal.

Thirteen Reasons Why was one of my favorite YA novels I have read in the last year. Jay Asher does a good job switching from Hannah to Clay’s stories and paralleling what is happening in each of their stories. You can really feel both characters’ depression, worry, frustration, and loneliness throughout the novel. There are not many stories that can portray teen emotions in a truly beautiful and terrifying light at the same time. After reading this novel I know I will be checking out Jay Asher’s other novels especially What Light, as this is his newest release and has some amazing reviews online. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good YA read. I also think that this book should be read by every teenager in high school. The story of Hannah Baker is devastating, but realistic, which should be known to all teens.

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Bookmarks & Such

Cover Photo

There is nothing better than a new book than a new bookmark to go with it. And if you are an avid bookstagrammer there is nothing like a beautiful bookmark to accompany your books in a photo. Unless you are one of those people who dog ears books (monsters!) I love that there are so many people with creative talents who love books as much as I do and can design handmade bookmarks to sell on Etsy. I have no artistic talent. I am decent at designing things on my computer and I have learned a lot about creating files on the computer this past year as I ventured onto Teachers Pay Teachers and started my first online business. I have started creating some bookmarks on the computer that will be coming to an Etsy store near you soon. I set out to find some of the best bookmark stores on Etsy so you can find your next reading buddy with the click of a button (or two!) So in no particular order….

 

  1.  LalaDreamyLand

laladreamyland

Laladreamyland prints her bookmarks for you for the low price of $1.75! What a great price for bookmarks. Pluse you can add more than one to make better use of your shipping costs. She features lots of fun characters with their quotes from their books and movies. Here is one of my favorites featuring Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them.

2. behindthepages

behindthepages

If you are a fan of YA fiction these bookmarks are perfect for you. behindthepages makes bookmarks with the title and author of your favorite YA books. They are all printed on high quality cardstock. These will be a hit on your bookstagram with their respective books.

3. ReadandWonderreadandwonder

ReadandWonder is known for her adorable little magnetic bookmarks. She also makes some beautiful printed bookmarks which have been featured on my Instagram a couple times. I also have ordered her stickers for my planner which are very high quality! Love these little guys.

4. CreateExploreRead

CreateExploreRead

CreateExploreRead is based in Ohio. This store has quickly been added to one of my favorites because of her beautiful and diverse bookmarks. AND get this – she has a bookish box made specifically for bookstagram photos! HELLO PROPS! Definitely will be needing this.

5. NerdyGrlDesigns 

NerdyGrlDesigns

Another new favorite shop. NerdyGrlDesigns seems to know how to make a bit of everything. She also has lovely magnetic bookmarks, regular bookmarks, and stickers. With nearly 10,000 sales, you know this store is a fan favorite.

 

Now about that first picture up at the top. This is one of the sets of bookmarks that you will see in my Etsy store coming soon. Keep looking for that here on the blog and on my Instagram @erindecker

I need some good recommendations for names for my shop!

A Journey through Oz

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This month I have been reading Wicked and simultaneously rereading The Wizard of Oz. L. Frank Baum left us this magical world in his children’s classics which has led to numerous other retellings of sorts.

Here are some of the best books to read if you loved the movie or the original The Wizard of Oz book.

  1. The rest of the original Land of Oz series 

oz box set

You are probably thinking – duh! Okay, I had no idea that there were so many books in this original series. 14 books to be exact. Since these are written for children and you probably are an adult, you will more than likely fly through this series. If you are a hardback book hoarder as I am this will cost you a pretty penny. However there are free versions of the entire series for free on Kindle. Find it here.

 

2. Dorothy Must Die Series

dorothy must die

This is a modern, punk retelling of the original series. Also this is in negotiation currently to be a series on The CW – so read these before the episodes are released. There are 4 main books in this series and 7 released novellas.

3. Spelled by Betsy Schow

Spelled

This YA retelling was released in 2015 and features a main character named Dorthea. Sound familiar? This Oz native’s parents go missing to a place called “Kansas” and its up to Dorthea to find the Wizard and return her parents to Oz. The sequel to this book was released this year and is called Wanted.

4. Bewitched in Oz by Laura J. Burns

bewitched in oz

This book has new main characters and takes place in Oz. Some secondary characters included in this book are Glenda the Good and Princess Ozma who you will recognize from the original series.

5. Shadow of Oz Series

shadow of oz

This series takes place with the original character of Dorothy, all grown up. She has forgotten about her adventures in the land of Oz and now works a boring desk job. Meanwhile the land of Oz has been dying. Dorothy is the missing key to get Oz back up and running. This short trilogy of books is perfect if you have already read the Wicked series as the prequel to the OZ series as this seems to be the sequel series.

6. The Wicked Series

wicked

This series really should be up in spot number two, but I am currently reading the first book so I saved the best for last. I absolutely love Wicked and learning about Elphaba and how she really became so Wicked. This book takes you through the highs and lows of her life. I cannot wait to read more in the rest of the series.

 

What other Oz books have you read? Which is your favorite?