Emily Read…Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

 Emily is our Goodreads pal and all-round lovely lady! 🙂 And, as you’ll know from our side-bar, her blog Confessions of a Bookaholic is one of our favourites. Throughout August and September, we will be featuring some of her book reviews on Aside from Writing so you can get to know her too!


Cover Rating: 3/5   Overall Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: “Clay Jensen 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 tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face. Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the
world over. It’s an unrelenting modern classic.”

The Review

WOW! I have no idea why I picked this up, I saw the synopsis and thought that looks really depressing. My next thought? I have to read it! I wasn’t expecting to like it I just had the urge to read it. Well I started it at 12 am thinking that I would just read a few pages. I couldn’t stop though until I had finished it. At 4am. Even after that I was kept up thinking about it. The whole book was so
real. At first I was thinking why did they keep passing on the tapes knowing all their secrets were being revealed to the other twelve people but then I realized they were doing it out of fear. They knew what would happen if they didn’t. I really liked Clay and personally I don’t think he deserved to be on the tapes.

I got very annoyed with myself halfway through because I couldn’t help hating Hannah. No this time it’s not just for the sake of it. Hannah making these tapes be passed around was cruel, she was blaming her death on these people who would have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Some of them may have deserved it but not all of them. Some of the people on the tapes had been trying to help her but she had taken the help the wrong way. Those kind people are given this guilt to carry. I hated myself for it but I began to think Hannah was being very selfish in what she did but if you think about it she needed her story told and this was the only way she could think of to do it. Apparently there is going to be a film of this book staring Selena Gomez, personally I probably wont go to see it – I don’t like seeing books I love Disney-fied.  I would recommend this book to people who like a serious book that will play on their minds long after being read. I would give this book 5/5 stars.

My Favorite Quote
“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. Everything. . . affects everything.” 


Want to know more? Check out the links!

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My blog: http://emily-confessionsofabookaholic.blogspot.com/

The Hunger Games…Bonnie’s Review

Rating: 5*

What to say about The Hunger Games that’s not already been said…well obviously from my rating I loved this book: I couldn’t really put it down, got into the characters and story; it ticked a lot of boxes for me. Now I see what all the fuss is about!

Since finishing this I’ve been trying to think of anything I don’t like…and there’s nothing. Some characters might have done things I didn’t want them to do – but the actions fit with their personalities and so I have to accept maybe I’m just more of a romantic than I thought. Plus it meant I needed to read the other books – like now! 🙂

The plot, action, character development were all great – I guessed some twists but still wanted to read them happen which tells me this is a good book. I liked the parallel drawn with modern obsessions with reality tv with no real consideration given to young people being put before cameras and being ripped apart (figuratively) by judges. The society of haves and have-nots and the great chasms between them.

The first chapter or so it took a little getting used to the first person, present tense narration, but once over that it really started to flow.

(On the wider series): Throughout the trilogy I liked the references/comparisons (obvious and subtle) to the Roman Empire…you pick these up in the first book easily: arenas, tributes, bloodthirsty games to keep districts in line, fighting with tridents and nets… It’s also reflected in the description of the Panem world: each district supplies a particular product or commodity similar to the provinces of the Roman empire, for example, where Egypt was the “breadbasket of Rome”. As the books progress you see elements of the excesses of Roman society in the Capitol inhabitants, such as the feasting/vomiting piece. (According to Seneca, the Romans vomited so they could eat and they ate so they could vomit – who said food issues are a new problem!) I think Collins does a good job of blending these aspects of the Roman empire into The Hunger Games and for me it was a nice basis for the ‘world building’ of Panem – which she acknowledges in Mockingjay with the “Panem et Circenses” quote, which was originally said about Rome and referred to a government who appeased discontent in their citizens through simple, gratuitous recreation and entertainments…wonder what parallels there are to see in that for people in 2012? 🙂

So…overall a really good quality YA book – I didn’t want to put it down. I don’t do 5 star ratings often, but this definitely gets it.