Before there was ... 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

So, I'm a bit sinus infected and behind on work and whatnot.  Therefore, I apologize for the unintentional hiatus in reviews.  I should have at least two for you this week.  For now, enjoy some book recs!   A lot of you have already said in the reader survey (hint hint, sidebar) that I should do more of these and more reviews, so I hope you enjoy!  You have been heard! 

Before there was Thirteen Reasons Why 
by Jay Asher, there was . . . 

 So I've only seen the movie so far (I'm ducking, now, in case you're throwing things at me in a rage) but I've quizzed several friends on this book and, guess what?  As fantastic as the movie was, the book is even better!  Shocking.  Anyhoo, welcome to the letters of Charlie, a troubled teen who's dealing with all the typical issues of freshman-land (drugs, dates, awkwardness) while at the same time, struggling with some heavy emotional problems.  He and his friends go through hell and back, taking you with them along the way.  Powerful stuff, and from it comes a quote I can't stop thinking about: "We accept the love we think we deserve."

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
A 90s classic and just as relevant now.  Meet Melinda, a girl who has become a new social outcast after calling the cops at a summer party.  No one will speak to her, except to rage for what she's done.  And slowly, she stops speaking back.  Anderson portrays her silent struggles in a meaningful, relatable, darkly humorous way that draws you right in.  And beneath the silence is the secret Melinda's hiding, and the building pressure to speak or break.  Absolutely beautiful,
Read my review

Cut by Patricia McCormick
I read this book a long time ago, but it's stayed with me.  It was my best friend's summer reading, and I devoured it in an afternoon on vacation.  It's a short but powerful read about a subject that is just as important as suicide, but often even more stigmatized and misunderstood.  Callie finds herself in a treatment facility after being caught cutting.  She doesn't want to speak.  She doesn't want to relate.  But through the process, she realizes that she's not the only one.  It's a wonderful book for looking at the causes of self-mutilation, and showing that the victims are not the whining attention-seekers that the media makes them out to be.  Must-read for young teens.

I haven't read this yet, but it has come highly recommended to me by some trustworthy readerly types, and resonates well with the issues in 13 Reasons.  Daelyn is the quiet loner.  The weirdo.  Then she finds a site for suicidal teens, and finds a voice.  She chronicles the story of the bullying that's pushed her to the edge.  Then she meets someone who wants to be part of her life...just when she thought she lost all hope.  Very good reviews on this one, and it cannot be overstated how important it is to raise awareness about bullying. 

34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues
Um, okay.  I realize this actually came after Jay Asher's awesome book.  Sue me.  This book also deals with suicide and, if you couldn't judge by the title, has a very similar structure.  In this case, each chapter starts with a cryptic note left by Ellie, the girl who died.  Each chapter is narrated by one of three people that Ellie left behind.  As you read their stories, you realize all of their own issues, and the ways that Ellie affected them, dead and alive--many of which are unexpected.  It's a captivating read that resonates with the teenage state of confusion and hopelessness.
Read my review

Click the book titles to find out more! 

What other older or obscure books 
remind you of Thirteen Reasons Why?

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