5/5, A, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2011, READING CHALLENGES 2011

2011.31 REVIEW – Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

Copyright: 2007
Pages: 288
Rating: 5/5
Read: June 21 – June 22, 2011
Challenge:  Take a Chance 3 Challenge; TwentyEleven Challenge
Yearly Count: 31
Format: Print

First Line: “Sir?” she repeats. “How soon do you want it to get there?”

Blurb: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself – a truth he never wanted to face.

Review: I waited for what seemed like forever waiting on the wishlist over at PaperBackSwap for this book. To put it the best way I can think of: this book was worth the wait. For real. This book was so haunting. Some points really resonated with me. Not being that far removed from high school (okay, well, 8 years), I know what those years were like. I remember them. Vividly. I was in Hannah Baker’s shoes when I got stood up at the movies (although technically her date showed up, eventually). I was somewhat of an outcast my junior year. I lost almost all my friends that year. Over something really stupid that I still can’t really put my finger on … but boy, do I still remember the one person who was at the center of the whole debacle. Ugh. I have my own Valentine Day memory like Hannah had hers, although mine wasn’t over a survey – although we did have those surveys! So I really related to Hannah’s character. Although I myself never considered suicide, I can understand the pain that this character went through when no one else was even aware. I was there. I felt some of that pain. I think that this book should be required reading for all young adults. High school can be brutal, and people suffer. A lot of the time others aren’t even aware of the pain and suffering that some people are going through. To read this book in a classroom I think could really open up some great discussions. I wish our high school had had a Peer Communications class like this fictional high school had. That would have been a wonderful class to experience. Overall, I simply cannot say enough good things about this book. I read it as quickly as I could. It sucked me in immediately.

4.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, J, RATING, Read in 2011

2011.30 REVIEW – Lost Souls by Lisa Jackson

Lost Souls 
by Lisa Jackson

Copyright: 2008, 2009
Pages: 488
Rating: 4.5/5
Read: June 15 – June 21, 2011
Challenge:  No Challenge
Yearly Count: 30
Format: Print

First Line: Where am I?

Blurb: Kristi Bentz wants to write true crime. All she needs is that one case that will take her to the top. She finds it when she enrolls at All Saints College after learning that four girls have disappeared in less than two years. All four girls were “lost souls” – troubled, vulnerable girls with no one to care about them, no one to come looking for them if they disappeared. The only personal that believes Kristi is her ex-lover, Jay McKnight, a professor on campus. The police think the girls are runaways, but Kristi senses there’s something that links them – something terrifying. As Kristi gets deeper into her investigation, she gets the feeling she’s being watched and followed – studied, even. Then the bodies start turning up, and Kristi realizes she is playing a game with a killer who has selected her for membership in a special club from which there will be no escaping death….

Review: Vampires, sex, murder … this book has it all. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it was a little on the long side for the story it was trying to tell, but honestly, that didn’t take away too much from the book itself. Having read Lisa Jackson’s books before, they are usually guaranteed to be a good thriller, but sometimes this one felt a little pushed in places. It’s hard to explain what I’m really trying to say. It was a good book, no doubt about it. But it didn’t feel entirely believable. I think that was my issue with it. Maybe that’s just me not buying into the whole commercialized vampirism and whatnot (now, if you want a good vampire story, check out Blood Oath). However, I suppose if the vampire element had been left out of this book, it would have felt like a gazillion other thriller books with very similar plots. Overall, I would recommend this book. But I think it’s a very forgettable read.