Th1rteen R3asons Why: 10th Anniversary Edition!!

Can you believe it’s been TEN YEARS since this little beauty graced our bookshelves for the first time?

And what’s more is that this edition contains (ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?): Jay Asher’s original notes when he was fleshing out 13RW, a letter from Asher to his readers, and his ORIGINAL UNPUBLISHED ENDING.

 

 

 

 

I was so excited to read this super secret ending and wanted to dive in right away. BUT. I realized it has probably been ten actual years since I read it. Even though the message of 13RW and the feels I had while reading it are burned in my memory forever, I have to admit I forgot a lot of the specifics of the story. So to fully appreciate such a momentous occasion, I decided to re-read it. And I’m glad I did. It didn’t hit me quite as hard as the first time, but only because I knew what was coming.

But re-reading it also made me realize how important this book STILL is ten years later, especially where we’re at now in our society. I forgot what Hannah suffered through. How she was gossiped about. How she was stalked. And how she was bullied into feeling like she had no value. And most importantly, how people’s actions can snowball into a heinous mashup that makes you not want to live.

If you haven’t read 13RW, first of all, why are you reading this blog and NOT reading this book??? Secondly, there will be spoilers for both the original AND the unpublished ending. Read on at your own risk…

So the original ending.

In the last chapter, we see Clay trying to figure out how in the hell he’s going to face his classmates now that he knows what Hannah experienced that made her want to end her life. After realizing how disgusted his is with everyone on Hannah’s tapes, including himself for not doing more to reach out to her, he decides to reach out to someone else. Skye made a brief appearance earlier in the book, and Clay mentioned how odd it was that she suddenly turned goth-y and introverted. This time, he’s not going to let her walk away like Hannah did the last time he saw her. The last page shows Clay approaching Skye and possibly befriending her.

I can’t think of a more perfect way to end Clay (and Hannah’s) story.

Now for the unpublished ending. Again, spoilers abound. You’ve been warned…

The last chapter starts off the same way with Clay trying to go back to school the day after hearing Hannah’s tapes. But this time, when he tries to leave school, Courtney Crimson (what a perfectly villainous name) approaches Clay and, after a brief conversation, reveals Hannah’s alive after all! Her parents found her after she took the pills, got her to the hospital, and she’s going to be fine. The last page shows Clay hightailing it out of the school to go see her at the hospital.

That’s a super condensed summary, of course, but you get the basic gist. So???! Whaddya think???!!

My personal opinion? I love the unpublished ending because it gives hope to both Hannah’s character and the readers. Hannah suffered through a lot of pain, emotionally and physically, but she WILL BE OK. And that’s a beautiful thing.

HOWEVER. I’m glad it wasn’t the ending they actually published. Jay Asher’s book has been used in thousands of classrooms and opened up countless discussions on bullying, suicide, and how our actions affect other people. And in order for that to have that kind of impact, 13RW needed to end the way that it did… with Hannah’s death, and Clay reaching out to another student because of what he heard on Hannah’s tapes.

If Hannah doesn’t die, the message of the story is cheapened with a type of “don’t worry… everything will be ok!” attitude. All the kids on Hannah’s tapes wouldn’t have been affected as deeply if Hannah had survived. The finality of Hannah’s death is what drives the point home, and THAT is why books like this are so important. I thought it was brilliant before, but now that I know how it *almost* ended, it’s somehow even more powerful.

Have you read the 10th Anniversary edition? And if so, what did YOU think of the alternate ending? Seriously, someone please weigh in on this because I’m DYING TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH PEOPLE.

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Julena? Selustin? Justelena??

As per PopEater.com:

It’s official, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are in love. At least according to an eyewitness who reportedly saw the teen lovers dropping the big “L” bomb on each other repeatedly during a shopping spree in New York City Tuesday evening.

My first thought? Dear God, I hope that doesn’t mean he’s being considered to play Clay in 13 Reasons Why.  Oh, the horror……

Jay Asher Interview

This is a really great article about 13 REASONS WHY with Jay Asher.  Weigh in at the website or here with comments!

Why Teen-Suicide Novel ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ is Saving Lives: An Interview with Jay Asher

Snippit of the article:

thirteen_reasons_why

Jay Asher‘s YA novel Thirteen Reasons Why, which comes out in paperback tomorrow, has grown into a major phenomenon over the last four years. In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly we caught up with the author and got the story behind the book that some readers credit with changing — and even saving — their lives. You can read the story below.

Jay Asher had dreaded this moment. It was his first book signing, and one woman had been hanging back, waiting for the crowd to thin. 
 Finally, she walked up to the table. Her 14-year-old son had taken his own life 
 a few years earlier, and she’d read 
 Asher’s book. “My heart just stopped,” recalls the author, 35. “I was thinking, ‘Here we go. Here’s where somebody’s going to totally chew me out.’ ”

Asher’s YA novel Thirteen Reasons Why is a great read that happens to be about teen suicide. It’s suspenseful and addictive and more entertaining than people might expect — or, Asher feared, might want. The book has an irresistible hook: High school junior Clay Jensen comes home from school one day and finds a box containing seven cassettes. When he pops in the first, he hears the voice of a classmate, Hannah Baker, who recently killed herself. “I’m about to tell you…why my life ended,” she says calmly. “And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.” Hannah then tells the whole sad story, her voice alternating with Clay’s thoughts as he learns about the bullying and casual cruelty that slowly drove her over the edge.

From EntertainmentWeekly.com‘s SHELF LIFE.  Originally published June 13, 2011.