Billy Bloom isn't like other boys. Mostly because he's FABULOUS. Unfortunately, students at his new school don't like his gender bender style and decide that one "faggot" at Eisenhower High School is too many. As their hate crimes escalate, Billy takes them in stride until one day the assaults go too far and he ends up broken and in a coma. Surprisingly, he wakes up to find his secret crush, Flip, not only keeping vigil by his bedside, but swearing to protect him.
Everything seems to be going well for Billy after he returns to school and people see that Flip has taken him under his wing until he announces his candidacy for homecoming queen, then, all hell breaks loose. What people consider a joke, at first, turns into a social movement that demands people to stop being cruel to others, and learn to love the "freak" within themselves.
This is a great story for tolerance. Billy is very witty and funny, but I found myself getting frustrated with all of the sidebars and random ramblings, even though I know that that is probably authentic because I have friends who do the same thing - I do the same thing. Overall, the author does a good job of using humor to address the very real issues of hate crimes and intolerance. I feel like the ending was a little too perfect, though. Everything seemed to wrap up in a neat bow, which isn't often the case.
Hannah Baker killed herself two weeks ago, and no one knows why. But, thirteen people are about to find out: thirteen people who unknowingly contributed to her death.
Asher creates an eerie story of a girl crying out for help, and no one listening...until it's to late. As each person receives his package of tapes, Hannah's voice explains their part in the THIRTEEN REASONS WHY.
Although I thought Asher's presentation of this sensitive topic was unique, the story dragged in a lot of places, and some of the "connections" were a stretch - as in, no logical connection. I agree that people need to be careful with their actions; in fact, I'm a huge advocate for anti-bullying, but, the way Asher executed this story, it came across that Hannah only saw what she wanted to see. As a result, she wasn't very likeable, and the reader had a hard time sympathizing with her, not a good thing if the author's trying to
“Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will only kill you.” - Daelyn
Daelyn Rice wants to die. She’s been the target of cruelty since kindergarten, and she wants to stop the pain. She’s tried killing herself before, but failed each time, earning herself the label of “freak” and taunts of, “Next time, do it right,” from her classmates. Oh, she plans to. In fact, she’s given herself 26 days to get everything in order before she steps through the light -permanently.
Peters’ novel deals with the serious nature of bullying and ways that it deteriorates people’s self-esteem to the point that they commit suicide. She shows the reader that everyone plays a part in bullying (whether they say the words, perform the acts, or sit quietly and watch), and, sometimes, the most important difference anyone can make is to show that they care.