I.J. knew there would be people who didn’t approve of the way certain issues were dealt with in the book…or that those issues were dealt with at all. As someone who tries really hard to avoid conflict and hates tense relationships, I.J. constantly considered watering down certain scenes to avoid such problems. But C&H (Confident & Honest) Jay knew that was the wrong way to go because he hates reading watered down scenes in other books. It always weakens the emotional truth of a story.
For some reason, I’ve recently found myself discussing this issue with other authors working on edgy teen novels. (By the way, I’ve decided “edgy” simply means “someone’s gonna disagree with what you have to say.”) I know I would've had a much easier time comforting Insecure Jay if I’d been able to hear what actual teens thought about some of my favorite edgy books.
So…here ya go!
I received permission from two teens who sent messages to my MySpace account to reprint their words on this blog. In exchange, I’m sending each of them a signed audiobook of Thirteen Reasons Why. These messages represent two types of people who seem to really be latching on to my book. I chose them because they arrived close in time to each other (two days apart) and…well…because I love the honesty in their voices. It probably took a lot of guts to write what they did, and I appreciate it.
(To maintain the integrity of these messages, I didn’t change a thing…other than deleting their names.)
Female; 16 years old
Hi there =) My name's (-----). I just wanted to let you know that Thirteen Reasons Why made a big impact on my life. For the past couple years I have actually been struggling with the thought of suicide, and everything you mentioned and portrayed were so accurate; the rumors, the boys, the drama, everything. And it makes me feel so much better knowing that someone understands. Hannah really reminds me of myself. When i read the poem that she wrote that was studied in her class, it really affected me because I wrote a poem very similar to that, prior to reading the book. It's almost eerie how much the book resembles my life. i just wanted to let you know that your book gave me hope. It made me realize that no matter how much you think no one is there, they might be the person you least expect. And i want to thank you for helping make a difference in my life =) I read it in one day. I couldn'y put it down. Please keep the novels coming =) I love your work. Take care, and thanks again.
Male; 19 years old
Dear Jay Asher, Yes your book was amazing and i bet you get that alot. From reading this book i have changed alot. I use to be someone that would be very mean and would be a dick to people. Since your book I have changed from listening to people and being more curtious. I know you have probley all ready thought about this but i think you should make a movie out of this book. Thank you for reading this and i hope to talk to later.