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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When a book changes your life

I have written of life-changing books before. Last time I did that, I ended up severely disappointed by the author, and for a while I questioned my own judgment. (I've since changed my mind. People make mistakes, and even people who make big mistakes have worthwhile things to say.)

Another time I blogged about a movie that "saved my marriage," and I actually lost a friend over it. No, I'm not kidding. Not to mention Husband and I separated just weeks after that post was published.

But I am willing to take a chance on this one, and give him all the positive feedback I can manage. Yesterday I picked up a copy of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher from the library. My friend Jenn reads a lot of YA stuff, so she recommends books to me that are worth reading, and this one came with a great big "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!" so I knew it was a must-read. Normally I would just buy a book with a review like that, but in our current economic situation I decided just to get my name on the waiting list at the library. It took six weeks to get the book, and I read it over the course of 12 hours (some of those hours were used to sleep).

Jenn was absolutely right when she said "this book should be required reading for high schools everywhere." Junior high, even. (Unfortunately students will probably still be reading Of Mice and Men instead, because no one can handle letting teenagers read about reality anymore - especially modern reality.)  I really wish I had taken the chance to buy 13 Reasons while I had the chance to get it 50% off at B&N.com the other day... I added it to the shopping cart and everything, but decided against it, since Husband is technically unemployed. It would have been worth every penny and then some. As soon as I get a paycheck I'll be buying at least two copies, one to keep and one to start circulating among the teens and parents of teens I know. I think every human should read this book, think about it, write about it, discuss it... it could be world-changing. (Not an exaggeration.)

If you can, get your hands on a copy. And go here to participate in the 13RWProject.



In addition to being an amazing resource for teens learning to empathize with others, 13 Reasons opened my mind to exactly what I've been missing in my own WIP. Until today I couldn't find within myself the conclusion to my character's story.

Now I know exactly where she needs to go and why, and I am back on track. :)


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