Wed August 5, 2009
"Thirteen Reasons Why" --- a Creative, Compelling, and Consistently Thoughtful Novel about Teen Suicide.
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – On our show today, we speak with Jay Asher. His first novel --- it's called "Thirteen Reasons Why," and it's intended for young-adult readers --- first landed in bookstores about two years ago...and ever since, it has remained a bestseller. The book has been a sensation not only in terms of sales, but also in terms of subject matter. "Thirteen Reasons Why" is a creative, compelling, and consistently thoughtful novel about teen suicide. By way of summary, the following remarks about this novel appeared in the periodical Children's Literature: "Clay Jensen's first love records her last words. Clay 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 explains that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he will 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. What he discovers changes his life forever. This novel is the first for Jay Asher, and it is billed as a spectacular one. The reader learns that one cannot stop the future or rewind the past. This book is also billed as suspense. It may not be for everyone . . . [but] it is challenging and interesting." Also on StudioTulsa today, commentator Barry Friedman has the third and final installment in his Italian travelogue.