October 26, 2011

RTW: Best October Read

Road Trip Wednesday is a 'Blog Carnival' where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
What was the best book you read in October?

I feel like one of those girls who is obsessed with some guy and can't seem to keep from slipping his name into the conversation at every turn. That's how I feel about Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. Not a day has gone by this week where I haven't somehow managed to bring it up, both here on my blog and in the rest of my life. 

Problem is, we're discussing this book on Friday for Tracey Neithercott's Fall Book Club. So since I can't really talk about my #1 choice, I'll have to go with my second choice. Frankly, it's a little embarrassing that I've only just gotten to this one considering how everyone has been raving about it for ages:

(Summary from Goodreads)
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.  

*     *     *
I should start by saying that I didn't love this book as much as everyone else seemed to. I think my expectations were far too high given all the praise it was getting. What I can say is that I definitely appreciated  the book's message and I feel that it is one that everyone needs to hear and take to heart.

As somebody who has never contemplated taking my own life, I often struggle to understand the thought process that leads to someone committing suicide. I mistakenly thought that for most it was one colossal event that was just so bad that it made living unbearable. That may be true for some, but in the case of Hannah Baker it was a whole series of smaller events that snowballed, leading to the taking of her own life.

The message that I took from this book is twofold:  
1) Stupid little things I say or do may amount to something far bigger to someone else.
2) It's never too late to reach out to others, and not just the people 'on the fringes'. 

Like I said, a very worthy message and one that everyone needs to take to heart. This book is well worth the read even if I wasn't completely bowled over by the awesomeness I was hoping for. That's why I'm choosing it as my (second) best read in October (shameless plug: tune in on Friday for my #1 October read).


  1. Wow, it sounds like a good, inspiring book. I have heard about it, but I had forgotten the premise, silly me. Amazing ...
    It's on my TBR list now ;)
    Oh, we'll see Friday then lol

  2. I agree. I didn't love it either (I think mainly the hype) but I also appreciated and respected what it was trying to do. I think it's one of those books I plan on giving my niece as she gets older and into high school (along with Stargirl and loads of others).

  3. I can't wait to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone - looking forward to your thoughts on Friday!
    I enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why and thought Hannah's character was well written - and the overall message is definitely one that's a worthwhile read.

  4. 13 Reasons Why is oh my desk. I've been meaning to read it for a year. Fail, fail, fail.

  5. I read 13 Reasons Why and it stuck with me- I think because of the message and the sadness of the story in general.

    I saw Daughter of Smoke and Bone in Walmart last week and have wanted to pick it up ever since. It looks great!

  6. I'm so excited to read your (and all the other Book Clubbers') thoughts on SMOKE AND BONE!

    Funnily enough, I felt exactly the same way about 13 REASONS. I liked it and I can see its importance and value, but it didn't move me the way it seems to move so many others. Still, an important book!

  7. I'm intrigued that the messages were left on cassette tapes. I didn't think anyone even sold those anymore! Likewise, I have never contemplated suicide, and struggle to understand why anyone would. Perhaps this is a book I ought to read. Thanks for the tip, Jaime.

  8. I'm with you--13 REASONS WHY has an important message, and I liked some aspects of the book, but overall I didn't love it. It's a case where the theme and response to the book appeals to me more than the story.

  9. I still haven't read it. Despite the fact that my library has it and I live 5 minutes away from like 5 bookshops, I've just been lazy.

    I read a book like this a while ago and 13 reasons why just doesn't seem that different.

    I would love to leave some tapes behind of me.


I ♥ comments. They make me smile.☺