Publisher: Razorbill Age
Group: Young Adult
Source: Personal copy (from two years ago)
Discovery: I’d never heard of this book before I bought it in 2009.
+ Emotional integrity. I cried for half an hour straight after finishing this book for the first time. I think I can say with certainty that this is a book that has changed my life. So many little incidents, harmless fun, nonchalant jokes and they all snowballed into an avalanche that drove a girl to kill herself. They weren’t even extraordinary events, none that you can point to and say for sure THIS IS WHY SHE KILLED HERSELF. But lately, that’s always the exception to the rule, isn’t it? Everything builds up and gets heavier and heavier and suddenly, you just can’t hold it up. So you let your shoulders drop. But they’ll never know. The people who saw you, who may or may not have known what they contributed and they’ll never know why. And that’s where this novel picks up. So much pain and so much anguish. A few times while reading-I finished it in one morning-I had to get up, go downstairs and watch some Disney Channel.
+ Motifs. Cassette tapes will never be the same again. I love that Hannah didn’t choose to write letters and that she used a map to show Clay and the other twelve people just how they were connected to each other. I hate that none of them chose to know her before she had to resort to this. As a 90s kid, I’m especially in love with the idea of the cassette tapes holding all of Hannah’s secrets, because they’ve always felt more tangible than CDs. With a tape, you can see the ribbons of sound and if you don’t handle them carefully, they break so easily. Hannah can be compared to a tape, wound up so tightly and yet vulnerable to a simple twist of one’s hand or words.
Recommendations: I honestly can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this novel. Anything negative would simply be nitpicking and I highly recommend this book to every teenager. It’s never easy to face facts and accept that the things we blurt out or never say can have a huge influence on other people. This book might be the only way to reach those kids.
Next review: North of Beautiful, Justina Chen Headley