I have no idea if I'll do A to Z this year. I didn't in 2015, but this year I have no grad school to get in the way, so that's something. Perhaps it's time for a theatre-themed A to Z.
Anyway! 2014 was all about my favourite books, so my favourite T book is...
|Image source: Goodreads.|
Why this book? Because of all the emphasis it places on the consequences of one's actions. Because it puts Hannah's tormentors into the light of day and forces them to face their mistakes. One little thing after another piled up on Hannah, until one day it was more than she could take, but before she left she articulated what was going on inside her.
Why is this book problematic? Many Goodreads reviewers point out that it glamorizes suicide--because Hannah left behind her reasons for taking her own life, she immortalizes herself. The book doesn't deal with the grieving process. It doesn't show how Clay moves on. We don't get a glimpse of 10 or 20 years later and whether any of her classmates have more than occasional flashes of regret for the girl they once tormented. We get the raw emotion, but--that fades. People heal. And over time, Hannah will remain dead even while the others go on living, but we don't see that in this book.
Part of me thinks this is a book that should be on school reading lists. However, as someone who was scarred by a school reading list, another part of me wants to put up warning signs. If the teacher and students aren't ready and able to have the discussion about the problems in this book, about what happens after the last page is turned, then it doesn't need to be required reading. I recommend this one to young friends, but more accurately I recommend it to their parents, so they can all talk about it together. This is a book that merits as much discussion about what's not in it as it does about what's in it.
And if the reader can't do that, then that's a pretty good reason to leave it on the shelf.
What's your favourite "T" book?