Tag Archives: Jay Asher

Top Ten Tuesday: Books dealing with tough subjects

Top Ten TuesdaysOkay, last week was rough – I know. This week shouldn’t be as hard to come up with books for but is still a tough week because we are dealing with books that are  hard to read for one reason or another but normally deal with difficult subjects like suicide, abuse or drug use.

1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – This deals with the aftermath of teen suicide and what is left behind when a person decides to end their own life.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Deals with kids trying to deal with their own cancer, attempting to have a normal life, all while knowing they are dying.

3. A Child Called “It” by Dave Peltzer – This book and the follow ups deal with the author’s personal experiences with abuse. There are also a couple of books written by his brother who was abused after he left.

4. Room by Emma Donoghue – Deals with a girl who is abducted and the has to raise her child by her kidnapper. When they finally escape, it also goes into the emotional upheavaltat comes with leaving the situation.

5. Please Stop Laughing at Me… by Jodee Blanco – This book deals with the torment that children can force on their peers. This girl’s personal account of being bullied through school. Being a victim of bullying myself when I was a kid, this book really hit home.

6.Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott – Written as YA fiction, this deals with a girl who is kidnapped and lives with a pedophile until she reaches the point where he no longer wants her and tries to use her to kidnap someone else.

7. The Tiger’s Child by Torey Hayden – The story of a teacher and a wild little girl. A little girl that no one understood.

8. Trafficked by Kim Purcell – A modern day human trafficking story.

9. No More Bullies by Frank Peretti – A personal story of how he was bullied as a child and a call to stop bullying.

10. Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman – A discussion on the secret world of girl bullies, how it has continued and what we can do to stop it.

I think that these kinds of books are very important because they deal with the reality that some people are forced to live through. While I think that a steady diet of this kind of reading, wouldn’t be healthy, some of this is important so that we can have some understanding of what others around us might be going through. What would you add to this list?


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Filed under Book Worm's Obssessive lists, Top Ten Tuesdays

Book Review: The Future of Us

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Book: The Future of Us

Authors: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Recommend: This was a great read but honestly I think should have been aimed at people in their late 20s to early 30s and not teens.

After reading Thirteen Reasons Why, I decided that I had to pick this one up even though I was rather skeptical of it due to the subject matter. This book is set in the late 90s when a girl receives a computer from her father; a guilt gift for abandoning her and moving away with his new family. However when she logs into AOL, she finds herself on this odd webpage called Facebook, staring at herself fifteen years in the future.

I really enjoyed this because I was in high school in the late nineties. I got every reference and knew every song. I remember what AOL was like. I had a computer in my house but many of my friends didn’t. Cell phones were still a tool instead of a toy and most teens had pagers instead of cell phones. While this helped me connect with the story more, the core of the story is basically what every time travel story is about. Should you change the future/past or leave it alone and how to the decisions of today effect tomorrow?

This book automatically had me. The main character is a band geek. Any book that includes high school band is always better for it 😉

This was a fun read but definitely made the reader think. I appreciate Asher’s books because they really force people confront themselves in a way a simple story doesn’t. Worth the read and if you’re my age, a fun trip down memory lane.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Filed under 2012, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Summer book challenge, Teen Book review

The end of summer and the Summer challenge 50

August 6th means that while you are reading this I am in my classroom, putting music stands and chairs out, pushing my benches back into place, pulling out instruments, and getting ready for my students to show up next week. I really can’t believe how fast this summer has gone. I spent it writing and reading like crazy. I escaped the hot sun outside and dove into a plethora of distant worlds created from the minds of others. Now though, summer is gone and I have to go back to work.

This means some changes on the blog. To start, I won’t be posting daily like I have been. I’m going for a bare minimum of once a week but am shooting for 3 times a week. We’ll see how things settle out after school starts. The end of summer also means returning to work on my master’s degree which means a huge loss of reading time for me.

I am glad that I set this challenge for myself this summer. I feel as sense of accomplishment and relief. I don’t have to push quite as hard anymore 😉

In case anyone is wondering here are the books I read for the summer challenge in the order I finished reading them! Note: Some of the reviews for these haven’t posted yet but are coming soon.

  1.  Overseas by Beatriz Williams (5/25/12)
  2.  The Kings of Casino Park by Thomas Aiello (5/28/12)
  3. A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King (5/28/12)
  4. The Piano by Jane Campion (5/28/12)
  5. Black Sunday by Thomas Harris (5/29/12)
  6. Into the Green by Charles de Lint (5/30/12)
  7. The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (5/31/12)
  8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (5/31/12)
  9. The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohlijian (6/1/12)
  10. Eve by Anna Carey (6/2/12)
  11. 11/22/63 by Stephen King (6/3/12)
  12. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen (6/4/12)
  13. The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind (6/5/12)
  14. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (6/5/12)
  15. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (6/6/12)
  16. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (6/6/12)
  17. Jane Slayre by Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin (6/7/12)
  18. Reamde by Neal Stephenson (6/12/12)
  19. The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro (6/13/12)
  20. The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma (6/15/12)
  21. Fire and Ice by Patty Jansen (6/16/12)
  22. Dirty Little Angels by Christ Tula (6/17/12)
  23. We Are Absolutely Not Okay by Students of Scriber Lake Alternative High School (6/18/12)
  24. Threat of Darkness by Valerie Hansen (6/18/12)
  25. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (6/18/12)
  26. The Pleasures of Men by Kate Williams (6/18/2012)
  27. Caught in Crystal by Patricia C. Wrede (6/19/2012)
  28. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (6/23/12)
  29. Room by Emma Donogue (6/24/12)
  30. The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (6/27/12)
  31. The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (6/28/12)
  32. Soulbound by Heather Brewer (6/28/12)
  33. Duck Boy by Bill Bunn (7/2/12)
  34. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow (7/3/12)
  35. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (7/4/12)
  36. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (7/4/12)
  37. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (7/4/12)
  38. Bag of Bones by Stephen King (7/5/12)
  39. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan (7/6/12)
  40. Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan (7/6/12)
  41. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris (7/7/12)
  42. Weak and Loved by Emily Cook (7/8/12)
  43. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (7/9/12)
  44. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (7/10/12)
  45. Jane Vows Vengeance by Michael Thomas Ford (7/10/12)
  46. Sirensong by Jenna Black (7/10/12)
  47. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (7/11/12)
  48. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (7/12/12)
  49. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Makler (7/12/12)
  50. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons (7/13/12)

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Filed under 2012, Book Worm's Obssessive lists, Review, Summer book challenge

Response to Thirteen Reasons Why

Cover of "Thirteen Reasons Why"

Cover of Thirteen Reasons Why

Book: Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher

I have heard so much about this book. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that I simply needed to read it. I found a copy of it available at the library this last weekend and so I picked it up.

Thirteen Reasons Why tells the story of a girl named Hannah who commits suicide. She leaves behind a set of tapes explaining why she made the choice to take her own life. She tells each person how they contributed to her decision and they are forced to mail it to the next person on the list. The narrator is one of the last people on the list.

While this book is YA fiction, I definitely think that this book is not for every teen. This is one that parents might want to be careful with and talk to their kids about simply because of the subject matter.

I think the thing that hit me the most about this book was that there were so many signs that she was in trouble and no one noticed. Even the adults in her life didn’t pay attention. This book is a great reminder to keep an eye on the people around you. Watch for the signs and be there for them. For more information about suicide prevention, check out The Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Filed under 2012, general fiction, mature themes and subject matter, Review, Summer book challenge, Teen Book review