Book Review – Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
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 why 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 firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

I finally read Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and just in time for the new Netflix tv show based on the book.

It’s such a heartbreaking story, about a young girl who had her whole life ahead of her and she threw it away.

I’ve seen that some readers have left low reviews saying that Hannah let small things get her down, that she died for nothing.

But they weren’t small things. Hannah’s suicide – it was such a waste. But that’s how depression works. Insidious. How it creeps up on you and you don’t notice until it’s too late. How your life feels hopeless. If you’re not strong enough, can’t will yourself out of it, it can drown you. And when you’re drowning, you’re unable to call for help, unable to accept it when it’s given.

She got to a point where she lost any self-respect for herself. She didn’t have the willpower or the courage to do the right thing. That, more than anything, drowned her.

Why is it so hard to do the right thing? For people to be considerate? This book didn’t just portray Hannah’s decisions but the other kids involved in her life who were selfish and who used others to benefit themselves. How many of us can say we would have done the right thing in her shoes? It’s easy to say it, but harder to live it when you see the injustice and cruelty happening around you. Do we really know what a person is truly going through?

The one I felt the most for, was Clay. It’s the people left behind who are the ones who hurt the worst.

Jay Asher wrote a story which emphasized real issues that are happening in our high schools, issues like bullying, peer pressure, sexual abuse, stalking, rape. High school should be a safe place and instead, it’s a minefield. How many kids end up drowning under those problems? How many are like Hannah? Who don’t have anyone to talk to, someone who listens to them? Who are misunderstood? Who feel invisible or who are crushed down by other people?

Thirteen Reasons Why was a well-written story. Maybe it can sensitize others into thinking of the consequences of their actions and give them the courage to do the right thing.

S.R. McKade

Review – The Host by Stephenie Meyer

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Synopsis: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi, Romance, Dystopian

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:

I finally got around to reading The Host. I watched the movie when it came out and loved it. I told myself I definitely had to read the book. But you know how it goes with TBR (To-Be-Read) lists – you keep adding books with big, greedy eyes on little time to read but you just can’t help yourself. And voilà, that’s how you know you’re a bookworm. I recently re-watched the movie and loved it all over again. I decided I better read the book this time.

So I started reading it and I got hooked in. So much so, that I was up till 2 a.m. reading. I found it enthralling. Stephanie Meyer did a great job in writing a sci-fi story that was interesting, emotional and fun. Her imagination is a marvel. The way she wrote about those lives Wanderer lived in the other worlds—I could picture them.

Her writing was a joy to read. The emotions practically jumped out of the page. Poignant, emotional, well-written and fantastic story-telling. Five stars and straight into my favorites and to-read-again pile.

I’m so glad I watched the movie before reading the book. This way I got to enjoy BOTH the movie AND the book.

Regards,
S.R. McKade

Review – Heart Shaped Rock by Laura Roppe

21902780Genre: Young Adult

Review: 5 of 5 stars

Release Date: 16 May 2014

This book hooked me in so deeply I read it in one sitting. It was so captivating, I couldn’t bear to pull away from it. The author’s writing is witty, funny, and thoughtful.

Heart Shaped Rock is about a young girl — a young woman really, because anyone who’s dealt with grief knows that it forces you to grow up fast — and how she deals with the heartbreaking loss of her mother to cancer at such a tender age, how she fights to hold the grief at bay, to try to feel normal again. To not miss her mother so much that she feels lost without her. To heal.

It’s about how a teenager’s life can be fraught with pitfalls and as complicated as an adult’s. I felt for Shaynee and I could relate to her and her family, picking up the pieces of their lives after her mother’s death. The cute and sweet little brother, the father who’s lost without the love of his life and wondering how to keep going on, how to be there for his two children.

One of the most emotional and deeply heartfelt books I’ve ever read. Not to mention, the songs were awesome and are now currently gracing my mp3 player. The author wrote amazing lyrics. I absolutely loved the songs ‘Cobalt Blue’ and ‘Heart Shaped Rock’. I enjoyed all the characters in this story, how the author made them so vivid, so real. I loved Dean, how charismatic and caring he was.

And the emotion, oh it just jumped out of each page! I laughed and I cried and I felt. You know how when you listen to a good song and it affects you so deeply that goosebumps break out on your skin, or you cry from feeling so much? That’s what Heart Shaped Rock is – one long heartfelt song. This book is for everyone who has been through the loss of someone special and who knows how hard the road to healing can be – some days you’re okay and others you just lapse again. For anyone who appreciates a story with emotion so well-portrayed, it seems to leap out of the page. Kudos to the author for creating such an amazing story.

Highly Recommended.