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Thirteen Reasons Why – A Review

How would you feel if you turn out to be a recipient of a box of cassettes out of the blue on your way back home? That’s pretty fascinating, right? The first thing that you might want to do is tear the box apart, internally cursing and questioning some unknown sender because, admit it people, who listens to cassettes these days anyway? But here’s the catch. Those cassettes were recorded by someone from your school who died two weeks ago. Creepy, right? Thirteen Reasons Why is exactly that. It takes on a ride to ‘creepy-istan’ and brings you back to a point where things start getting reasonable and comprehensible. Thirteen Reasons Why is a novel by Jay Asher which was originally published in October 2007. The title suggests an effect brought by a series of events, more specifically reasons which leads to something that is exclusively revealed quite at the beginning. (No mysterious there.) Hannah Baker is a sixteen year old teenager dealing with the pressures pertaining to high schools from all angles in her everyday life.

The author perfectly brings up the issues that bothers a teenager in high school but they’re afraid to share them with their parents. It lightly touches upon the struggles of introversion, how attending a party becomes a chore rather than a source of enjoyment. It also throws light on the well-known excuse a the student all over the world – “school-project”. “Staying out late? School project. Need extra money? School project.” The book however, does not highlight the solution to the teenagers reading the book, and rather showcases a grim and funereal end of Hannah Baker, which, on some levels, in my opinion, can be seen as a limitation.

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The story basically begins with Clay Jensen receiving a set of tapes recorded by a girl who had died two weeks ago, with no address of the sender. The story gradually unfolds and we realize that the thirteen tapes that she has recorded are for thirteen specific people who are also the reasons why she decided to kill herself. (Creepy, right?) That’s not all of it. She urges the receivers (people who are the reasons and are part of her list) to forward it to the next person on the tape. The book is mostly a one-sided conversation between the tape and Clay’s reaction to it highlighting the background of the incident in consideration. Clay is also accompanied by his friend Tony in the later part of the book. The book is pretty organised and an event leads to another event in a perfect sequence which the protagonist calls the “snowball effect”, since a series of fake assumption contribute in building her false reputation. It is a young adult fiction, a tragedy but mostly a psychological thriller. The language too is pretty clear and credible. However, some readers might not feel satisfied at the end since it is an open-ended novel. (You are free to weave your own conclusion). It is a pretty short novel and I completed reading it within 24 hours, not just because of its length but also because of its unconventional plot. It keeps the readers hooked and you unfailingly dig into the next page to find closure. That being said, Thirteen Reasons Why is an interesting read and you should definitely read it at least once.

 

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Highs and lows

Walking up the alley after school towards my home at the highest point of the hill is a not so fun-filled activity in the most demoralizing days of the week. It’s like a path of constant self-retrospection and realization of the activities I’m lagging behind as compared to the rest of the world. For most people it would be a good walk of fifteen minutes with a perpetual series of encouraging and promising events that took place during the day. For me, it has always been the ‘over thinking’. Sometimes I distract myself by watching my own feet while I’m walking, kicking aside every pebble that comes on my way as if they are my thoughts that I’m strenuously trying to brush aside. The path on the other side of the stream is smoother than this one. That road which leads me to my home looks like a long grey ribbon and the sight makes my soul jump with absolute joy! But it’s still a mile away. I walk faster and I see the stream gleaming from a distance. I stop by, contemplating to pick up something for my mother. The last time I picked some fresh yellow flowers tied with a blade of grass and the look on her face was priceless! I picked up some daisies this time, and carefully held them with both hands making sure not to crush them on my way. The journey on the other side of the stream is less tiring, because I know that home is not too far from this place. I walk faster, matching the rhythm of my breath till I find that smooth concrete road waiting for me desperately to walk on. Trying to fill a block of tile with every step as I’m walking towards my destination becomes my favorite game now. And auspiciously enough, the size of my feet fits perfectly with the length of those gray concrete tiles. With every faultless step, my soul experiences a momentary satisfaction because I know, home is near, home is here. I don’t find my mother waiting for me at the door like she used to. Nor I see her waving at me from a distance. I see my mother on the bed and recline in peace in the smooth confines of her arms, with the daisies on the table, smiling at us from the jar…

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Huesome

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“Colors are the smiles of nature.”

Thanks to that unknown painter on Pinterest who inspired me to create my own butterfly, although similar.

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The Portal

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Amidst the bushes there stood a door. A beautiful door. A beautiful portal, a gate, an entryway, to memories which were left far behind in the yesteryear. I stand there everyday, contemplating my future that I would have had, if I would have taken the decision to walk in through that portal. But I’m glad I walked away. I’m glad I did not try to fit myself into that home I did not belong to. It never was my home and never would have been. I continued walking straight. I crossed rivers, mountains, and lakes, and for heaven’s sake…how beautiful was the sight! I found my door! Like, it has been waiting for me to walk through, and light the fireplace that warmed two souls, out and inside.

                                                                                                                         – Miscellaneous Bits

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