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Kate Bond

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Ann Aguirre
The Reapers Are the Angels
Alden Bell
Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion
Janet Reitman
Jay Kristoff
Claudia Gabel, Cheryl Klam
The Age of Miracles
Karen Thompson Walker
The Long Earth
Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett
Barry Lyga
Crown of Midnight
Sarah J. Maas
The Bitter Kingdom
Rae Carson
Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher This is one of the best suspense novels I have ever read, which is insane because from the very beginning we know that Hannah has killed herself. No matter what Clay, our protagonist, does, she cannot be saved. The suspense comes from witnessing Hannah’s spiral downward while dreading the point where we will learn what Clay has done to deserve being one of the thirteen on the list of people who were sent the tapes–because they all contributed to her suicide in significant ways that connect with each other.It is also an excellent example of how two person first-person narrative can be used well to enhance a story. When authors use multiple first-person narrators, alternating between chapters, it becomes tedious and can be confusing (like in Charlie Huston’s Sleepless–I was three quarters of the way through that one before I even realized there WERE two people telling the story). The absolute horror, the shame…everything the reader feels is magnified exponentially by the emotional roller coaster Clay is on, and his perspective gives us permission to get frustrated with Hannah while reminding us that she is a victim. It’s just really well done.And Clay. What a beautiful gift of a narrator Clay is. His relationship with Hannah is so perfectly crafted in exactly the way it needs to be to guide the reader through what could have been a thorny maze of schlock.I read this on my Kindle in one sitting and didn’t pay attention to the author’s name, so I had no idea it wasn’t written by a woman. Hannah’s voice and her reactions to the sexual harassment and bullying she endures are so specific to the feminine experience that I felt like I was listening to my own high school-age inner monologue. I am shocked that a man was able to get this so right.Trigger Warning: Rape and sexual harassment are a recurring theme throughout the work, so tread carefully. I was concerned, after reading the first few chapters, that the author was telling a dangerous revenge fantasy story, and one that would be irresponsible to share with teens who might be struggling with suicide themselves, and I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Thirteen Reasons Why goes in the pile, along with with Before I Fall and A Separate Peace, of novels every teenager should read.