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Monday, February 25, 2013

Suicide - 13 reasons why...not


I had a different blog scheduled for today, but then I read the book:  Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher        this past weekend and it has really been on my mind.  So I decided to do a post on my thoughts of this book.  Not a review, but my actual thoughts and concerns.

I admit I knew the premise behind this book before reading it.  Basically a quick background:  Hannah, has committed suicide.  Before her death she put together a group of tapes to be listened to by 13 different people about the reasons they were part of the cause of her death.  Why her death is not her own fault but theirs. 

When I began the book I thought the reasons were going to be real reasons, full of slabs of meat to grab onto. They weren't.  Most of them were stupid petty things that we have all lived through, some of us worse things and we didn't kill ourselves over it.  I am well aware that we are all different and we all deal with the bad things in life differently, but really?  That was it? 

I could have finished the book and moved on to the next one in my pile to be read, but I could not get this book out of my head.  Why?  I’ll tell you why.  I am worried that with this type of book, kids and teens today will have one more reason to die than they did before.  There are very real issues out there in the world today.  Getting ignored, or having your butt grabbed in a store, or witnessing bad things happening to other people, should not be the death of anyone.  There are real and hard issues in the world today that so many teens and kids are facing.  What about the boy that is bullied for YEARS.  What about the kids struggling with poverty and hunger; surviving and beating cancer;  physical and sexual and mental abuse?  Those are real struggles.  The make or break you types.  The ones in this book are nowhere near the planes of suffering that so many kids are trying to get through and are living through.  Books like this put the real struggles on the same level of the mundane and they should not be.  Does anyone need one more excuse to end it all? 

Will we see more suicides that occur because a girl has a bad hair cut and someone laughed at her?  Will we see more death because one boy didn't get to be prom king and dance with the queen?  I know the book is really about paying attention to what you do and how you treat others as you never really know how it can effect them in the end, but why did all the “reasons” have to be so…so…simple.  I can see that they would affect a lot of people, but to the point of death?  Really?  Is that the world we live in, that we can decide to end it all and then blame everyone that was not perfect to us in our lives for doing it?  If so, all I can say is…wow.  I should have ended it all years ago then and it would be all everyone else’s fault! 

So maybe now that I have gotten this off my chest I can move on to something new. 

ctny


2 comments:

  1. This book didn't affect me the same way it did you. I didn't feel it was justifying these things as legitimate reasons for anyone to end it all. I felt like it heightened awareness that we never know what mental state a person is in or how some seemingly trivial thing you do or say might affect them. I think the fact that each of the "reasons" in this book were so small, also reinforced the fact that those incidents weren't actually to blame. No matter how she tried to place the blame, she still made the decision not to reach out for help. She made the decision to end it.
    That being said, I read this book years ago, so I may not be remembering clearly.
    In any case, I do hope you're able to move on and I hope the next book you read is less troubling to you. Pick something lighter for a change ;)

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  2. This is a very interesting topic. I haven't read this book, but I've heard of it. When I looked at the reviews, I noticed that people either loved it or didn't.
    I think the reason why it affected you so much may be because you're a parent of a teen. Some teens are at the age that every little road bump in the road feels like the end of the world. I remember some of those feelings.
    With the amount of suicides generating so much publicity lately, I have to wonder whether those teens that are unstable feel those suicides are glamorous.
    I don't know...I guess we can only hope our children feel loved enough to not contemplate taking such drastic measures.

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