Friday, December 9, 2011

Th1rteen R3easons Why

Th1rteen R3asons Why
By Jay Asher

This book changed me forever. I will never ever forget it. I've been in Hannah's shoes before. I think we all have had Hannah moments... but have we also been one of the thirteen? This book is eerie, beautiful and absolutely, breathtakingly, devastating. I feel the world would be a better place if everyone read this. Read this. I could not put this book down. This was my second time reading it. It reveals what is behind the masks we all wear and how everything we do and say (or don't do and say) effects everything... This book touched my heart, and its fingerprints will remain etched there forever.

SUMMARY: When high school student Clay Jensen receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
You can't stop the future,
You can't rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret to press play.
Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.
Then Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes--and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.
All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town...
...and what he discovers changes his life forever.

"Hello, boys and girls. Hannah Baker here. Live and in stereo. No return engagements. No encore. And this time, absolutely no requests. I hope you're ready; because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why."
-Hannah Baker

"The rules are pretty simple. There are only two. Rule number one: You listen. Number two: You pass it on. Hopefully neither one will be easy for you."

"Do not take me for granted... again."

"I hope you'll understand your role in all of this. Because it may seem like a small role now, but it matters. In the end, everything matters."

"What did you want to hear? Because I've heard so many stories that I don't know which one is the most popular. But I do know which is the least popular. The truth."

"When you hold people up for ridicule, you have to take responsibility when other people act on it."

"You can't rewrite the past."
-Clay Jensen 

"You can't know rumors. You can hear rumors but you can't know them."

"Did you notice the scars you left behind? No. Probably not. Because most of them can't be seen with the naked eye."

"Every story I'm telling leaves so many unanswered questions."

"I took the longest possible route home. I explored alleys and hidden roads I never knew existed. I discovered neighborhoods entirely new to me. And finally... I discovered I was sick of this town and everything in it."

"With the realization that no one knew the truth about my life, my thoughts about the world were shaken. Like driving along a bumpy road and losing control of the steering wheel, tossing you--just a tad--off the road. The wheels kick up some dirt, but you're able to pull it back. Yet no matter how tightly you grip the wheel, no matter how how hard you try to drive straight, something keeps jerking you to the side. You have so little control over anything anymore. And at some point, the struggle becomes too much--too tiring--and you consider letting go. Allowing tragedy...or whatever... to happen."

"I couldn't stop thinking about Hannah. How she looked. How she acted. How it never matched up with what I heard. But I was too afraid to find out for sure. Too afraid she might laugh if I asked her out. Just too afraid."

"For the longest time... it seemed that I was the only one who cared about me. Will I ever get control of my life? Will I always be shoved back and pushed around by those I trust? Will my life ever go where I want it to?"

"I'm listening to someone give up. Someone I knew. Someone I liked. I'm listening. But still, I'm too late."

Eventually, she said the words that ran through my mind for the rest of that night: "You don't need to watch out for me, Clay."
But I did, Hannah. And I wanted to. I could have helped you. But when I tried, you pushed me away.
I can almost hear Hannah's voice speaking my next thought for me. "Then why didn't you try harder?"

"I guess that's the point of it all. 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."

"My heart and my trust were in the process of collapsing. And that collapse created a vacuum in my chest. Like every nerve in my body was withering in, pulling away from my fingers and toes. Pulling back and disappearing. I sat. And I thought. And the more I thought, connecting the events in my life, the more my heart collapsed."

"Maybe I wanted someone to point a finger at me and say, "Hannah. Are you thinking about killing yourself? Please don't do that, Hannah. Please?" 
But deep down, the truth was that the only person saying that was me. Deep down, those were my words."

"If you could hear other people's thoughts, you'd overhear things that are true as well as things that are completely random. And you wouldn't know one from the other. It'd drive you insane. What's true? What's not? A million ideas, but what do they mean?"

"If my love were an ocean,
there would be no more land.
If my love were a desert,
you would see only sand.
If my love were a star--
late at night, only light.
And if my love could grow wings,
I'd be soaring in flight."

"If you hear a song that makes you cry and you don't want to cry anymore, you don't listen to that song anymore. But you can't get away from yourself. You can't decide to not see yourself anymore. You can't decide to turn off the noise in your head."

"Looking down into her eyes, I couldn't help telling her I was sorry. Sorry for waiting so long to let her know how I felt. For a brief moment, I was able to admit it. To her. To myself. But I could never admit it again. Till now. But now, it's too late. And that's why, right at this moment, I feel so much hate. Toward myself. I deserve to be on this list. Because if I hadn't been so afraid of everyone else, I might have told Hannah that someone cared. And Hannah might still be alive."

"Soul Alone" by Hannah Baker
I meet your eyes
you don't even see me
You hardly respond
when I whisper
Could be my soul mate
two kindred spirits
Maybe we're not
I guess we'll never

My own mother
you carried me in you
Now you see nothing
but what I wear
People ask you
how I am doing
You smile and nod
don't let it end

Put me
underneath God's sky and 
know me
don't just see me with you eyes
Take away
this mask of flesh and bone and
see me 
for my soul


"You don't know what went on in the rest of my life. At home. Even at school. You don't know what goes on in anyone's life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person's life, you're not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can't be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person's life, you're messing with their entire life."

"You can't go back to how things were. How you thought they were. All you really have... is now."

"The thing is," I say, "I never really missed her till now."
He sits back in his seat and looks over at me.
"I didn't know what to make of that night. Everything that happened. I'd liked her for so long from so far away, but I never had a chance to tell her." I look down at the Walkman. "We only had one night, and by the end of that night, it seemed like I knew her even less than before. But now I know. I know where her mind was that night. Now I know what she was going through."
My voice breaks, and in that break comes a flood of tears.

With my face pressed against the bars, I begin to cry. If anyone is walking through the park, I know they can hear me. But I don't care if they hear me because I can't believe I just heard the last words I'll ever hear from Hannah Baker... I would have helped her if she'd only let me. I would have helped her because I want her to be alive.

Always remember, even when it feels like you are all alone and you don't have anyone to talk to, you do. There's a national phone number and Web site (1-800-SUICIDE and available 24/7. I am always here for you. Remember to always tell the ones you love how you feel. Speak now. And keep unkind words to yourself. Love will always overcome hate.

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