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Tag / Jay asher


Book-A-Like: If I Stay & Thirteen Reasons Why

Exquisitely sad YA stories about life and death,  loss and love feature in this week's Book-A-Like.

BookaLike May 27Clay Jensen is still reeling from the death of his friend and first love, Hannah Baker, two weeks previous. When he arrives home one afternoon to a strange package on his doorstep, what he imagines is inside it is nothing compared to what lurks in the box. A stack of cassette tapes that chronicle Hannah’s reasons for taking her own life are being passed around to the people who lent a helping hand. Clay can’t imagine why he would be included. He never did anything wrong. But in listening to the tapes, he soon learns that what can push people to the edge isn’t always one big, bad occurrence. It can be a domino effect of small events building on top of each other. Hannah’s thirteen reasons why. - Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

If I Stay follows the story of Mia, a girl injured in a car crash that has killed her entire family. Lingering as a spirit, her body on life support, the reader experiences the highs and lows of Mia's life through flashbacks and snaps of reality.  Fighting to survive, Mia must decide, should she stay...or let go? - If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

9780857076076

It’s 1996. Neighbours and best friends Josh and Emma are huddled around Emma’s PC, accessing the internet for the first time. Though their friendship has been strained for a while, the internet is the next, new big thing and they share the experience like they’ve shared almost everything else. But something is wrong with Emma’s connection: it keeps opening up to a website called Facebook – and there are profiles there for people with their names, only the dates are wrong. How can a webpage from 2011 exist in 1996?

As they read on they begin to discover that these people aren’t just look-a-likes. They’re future Josh and Emma and all of their lives, loves and woes are out there for the world to see. Engrossed, Emma begins to read into her future… and discovers she doesn’t like what she sees. Wondering if her present actions can change her destiny, she tries a simple experiment and when she gets results, she decides to shape her future to her liking. But life isn’t as simple as it seems and Josh is starting to question the legitimacy of the website that’s driving his friend to such crazy lengths. There’s arguments and drama and plenty of that good ole’ teenage angst to be thrown around but ultimately, there’s a lesson to be learnt about the consequences of ones actions.

A hilariously out there novel, The Future of Us is a brilliant story that brings up the “What if I could see into the future?” question with a technological twist. The use of Facebook as a sort of crystal ball not only allows us to follow Emma’s crazy journey of action and reaction but also brings into question the use of social media sites and asks how much is too much?

-Karen

Reviewsday: Thirteen Reasons Why

" A lot of you cared, just not enough."

thirteen reasons whyI’m going to be honest. Thirteen Reasons Why is a hard book to read – but it’s worth it. Any book that deals with an issue as sensitive as teenage suicide is going to be emotional and this one really hits hard. The main message that the book conveys is a powerful one that needs to be heard.

Clay Jensen is still reeling from the death of his friend and first love, Hannah Baker, two weeks previous. When he arrives home one afternoon to a strange package on his doorstep, what he imagines is inside it is nothing compared to what lurks in the box. A stack of cassette tapes that chronicle Hannah’s reasons for taking her own life are being passed around to the people who lent a helping hand. Clay can’t imagine why he would be included. He never did anything wrong. But in listening to the tapes, he soon learns that what can push people to the edge isn’t always one big, bad occurrence. It can be a domino effect of small events building on top of each other. Hannah’s thirteen reasons why.

As Clay progresses through the tapes, his life changes – for better or worse – and so does yours. Hannah’s stories are raw, powerful and scarily relatable. All of the things that send her toppling are common events in a teenager’s life. Not only does this novel shed light on a topical issue, it’s ultimately uplifting. Through Hannah’s tapes, Clay finds himself appreciating life more and not taking for granted the little things as is so easy to do. Every facet of Hannah’s experience is magnified and explored in depth and her voice is one that needs to be heard. To make the impact of the story more powerful, you can listen to Hannah’s tapes at www.hannahsreasons.blogspot.com.au.

Books like these deserve all the praise they’re given. Sensitive subjects really need to be handled well and Thirteen Reasons Why is an outstanding example of this. You will laugh, you will cry and you will finish the book enlightened and full of gratitude for your friends, family and life in general.

-Karen C. @Tweed Heads QBD