Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Some books follow you around online until you get curious enough to download them. Then you start to read, and it shakes you and you cannot put it down.
This is one such book. Simply written yet compelling. A girl commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes. Each tape is a reason why she committed suicide. Each reason is a person. Each of the 13 people have to listen to the tapes to know the real her, what they did that led her to the decision of wanting to take her own life. It could be a small reason, something they said, sometimes acting unknowingly but yet it contributed to her being unable to cope with life. You feel her life unravelling, you feel her joy and her sadness, her clarity and her confusion and at one point in the story, it breaks your heart. You want to reach out to this young girl.
The topic of suicide is really heavy and daunting, and the very thought of an entire book being on it can make you not want to pick up the book. Yet it forces you to think how your actions, your words, your behaviour can impact a life. Definitely get your teenager to read it.
“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”