This book is a work of fiction about a character who commits suicide and the affects it has on one of her school mates when he learns of her reasons. It’s not a biography. I mention this because some people confuse fantasy and reality when they read fiction. As an reader, I overlook little details and avoid overanalyzing very little “fact” in a fictional story. I don’t view fiction as an extension of life and I try to avoid looking for parallels in the real world. I see it for what it is, imaginary events and people and the best form of escapism. On a personal note, I don’t judge someone’s reasons for committing suicide. I believe that when people commit suicide, they’re trying to escape themselves. Certain circumstances build up that create a tipping point and pushes them over the edge. It’s easy to pass judgment, but nobody can truly understand how this person feels unless you walk in their shoes. OK, that’s enough of the soapbox.
As for the book itself, I enjoyed the dual narrative. I wasn’t sure if I would because sometimes if it’s not done well, it’s either confusing to read or annoying with all of the back-and-forth in the narration. In this case, the narrative style helped build the characterization because of Hannah’s conversational voice on the cassette tapes and Clay’s stream of consciousness thinking as he’s listening to the tapes. Overall, good storytelling. This is one of those YA book that you can absorb yourself in and read in a day.