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« BBAW Interview Swap: Amy from The House of the Seven Tails | Main | "Maine" by J. Courtney Sullivan »

September 16, 2011


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mari (Bookworm with a View)

I have been interested in this book for over a year but the YA keeps me from reading it.

Glad to hear the audio version was acceptable, this is most likely how I will read this book... if I do.


Nope you're not the last blogger... I have yet to read it! I can see the points you're making and I'll probably agree but I definitely still want to read it!


I love reading YA, but I hated this book. I really hated everything about Hannah. I suggest reading some Maureen Johnson or Lauren Myracle instead.

Dawn - She Is Too Fond of Books

I don't read much YA, either. Not much, as in "very little."

I do think I'll read this (some day), though, as I'm curious about it. Will keep your warnings in mind :)


I've gotten more into YA since blogging, but I've found I tend to pick up the non-realistic ones (Hunger Games, Graceling, that sort of thing) or historical fiction (A Northern Light, which is AMAZING on audio!), I think because of what you point out here. They can be hard for me to relate to and "overwrought," as you say. I actually listened to a bit of this a few weeks ago and put it aside, because I just wasn't in the mood. I may try it again another time.

There is some seriously good YA out there, though! If you like audio, what about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian? That's one of my all-time favorites.

Susan B

Last year I read Before I Die by Jenny Downham, which I thought was a well-written and mature YA book. I had thought if it was good I could pass it along to my niece but it would have been far too sad and heavy for her.


I recommend, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Young Adult, also dealing with death and dying but so well done.

My son is reading Thirteen Reasons Why for English enrichment and he is soooo the non-reader, but he really likes it. He says it's about "real people" and he likes that the problems seem like ones that can actually happen.

It's hard to remember what it was like to be that age, but little things did seem like big issues back then.


I'm late to the party, but I just discovered your blog and had to comment. I had serious problems with TRW. I read it soon after it came out, when I was a few years out of high school - 21, maybe? That's important for two reasons: I was still young enough to identify with teenagers (still am, but less and less each year =\) and it's been a while since I read it. I just.. I can't accept that Hannah's selfishness is never shown as selfishness. It's true that people underestimate the effect that they have on other people, and I can accept that Hannah would blame these people for her misery. But Jay Asher never allows the book to show Hannah as selfish (except in relation to the main character, occasionally). Not to the people she blames. And I just think it's so messed up.

Is this book supposed to show people that they might be bullies, might be affecting people in negative ways? Maybe. I feel, though, like it's more for depressed, even suicidal teens. And as a message to suicidal teens? I just get so angry. (fwiw, I'm saying this as an ex-suicidal teen. Suicidal ex-teen? That makes it sound like I'm still suicidal. Ex-suicidal ex-teen? :P) The only other person I've talked to about this, also an ex-suicidal ex-teen, felt the same way. I have no idea if I'm being at all articulate. It would be helpful if I hadn't read the book four years ago! (Also, sorry for the essay. I have strong feelings about this book. :P)

Let me add to the chorus of "This doesn't represent the best of YA, it's not even close!". It makes me sad to hear anybody say that the label of YA keeps them from reading a book they might otherwise be interested in!

I'm new to your blog, so I don't know what books you like, but if you're interested in history, I highly recommend Octavian Nothing I & II by M.T. Anderson. If you like contemporary stuff, I'd recommend Maureen Johnson (generally lighter stuff) and John Green (less light). I'll second the recommendation for Sherman Alexie's Part Time Indian - just finished reading it! There's tons of great YA out there. And keep in mind, just like in the adult bestsellers, there's both overrated and great stuff in YA bestsellers.

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