My Thoughts on Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why

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A little over a year ago, I read Jay Asher’s novel, Thirteen Reasons Why. I hadn’t heard of the book until the news that it would be made into a Netflix original series. So, I read it in time to watch season one right when it released and there were areas I was happy with and others that felt dangerous. If you’ve seen or heard about the show, you are likely aware of the controversy that it brings with its existence.

The book is about a teenage girl who commits suicide. She leaves behind a series of cassette tapes, which hold recordings of the thirteen reasons why she felt driven to take her own life. The T.V. adaptation is astronomically different than the book, as so many other details and events are added in. With the tremendous popularity the show has received, there has been high praise in addition to contrasting warnings to avoid the show entirely. Before you begin watching, you need to know that this show is explicit and can be triggering. There are graphic scenes of sexual assault and suicide that you need to be aware of before making the decision to push play. Some viewers that have experienced depression, self-harm, and attempts at suicide have been caught off guard and triggered back to their old ways of thinking. This is not the intention behind the show but has been a result of its release. I feel that the first season of the show does a solid job of offering insight into what suicidal thoughts, bullying, slut-shaming, rape, and suicide look like in today’s society. However, there wasn’t enough of a focus on mental illness or an accurate portrayal of depression, which is what leads people to suicide. Many argue that this is an irresponsible, inaccurate look at a suicidal individual and glamorizes suicide, as a result. I’m glad that the show changed the way that Hannah Baker kills herself in the show, as I think the way she did it in the book would be less painful to watch and therefore more glorified to vulnerable viewers.

As for the rape scenes, I completely understand why they were triggering.  I think the graphic hot tub scene was necessary because it shows young men an example of rape that isn’t the woman screaming “no” or struggling. Often times, women feel frozen in the fear of the moment and they can’t consent, as a result. If your partner does not give you a clear, verbal “yes”, they are not consenting. Too many young men are failing to realize this, so I am glad that this highly popular show used their platform to clearly show such an important message to their adolescent male audience. I hope that season one of this show positively affected young men in that way. Maybe a male viewer wasn’t clear on consent, as many teens aren’t, and future rapes were avoided by changing his viewpoint. I’m not a teen boy and cannot attest to that, but I can’t help but hope that at least one man will better understand consent thanks to this show. Women aren’t the issue in our country’s despicable rapist culture–men are. We shouldn’t be given rape whistles and told to travel in pairs and to dress modestly. Men need to be held accountable and be the focus on how to stop raping, rather than telling the victims how to avoid being raped.

Rape isn’t always a strange man jumping out of the bushes and assaulting a woman. In fact, a friend or acquaintance is far more likely to be the perpetrator of sexual assault. 93% of victims already knew their rapist. From a study found on RAINN’s website, 59% were acquaintances and 34% were family members. Also, according to RAINN, 94% of women who are raped experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms during the two weeks following their assault. For 30% of women, these PTSD symptoms are still very present 9 months afterward. 33% of women who have experienced rape contemplate suicide and 13% attempt suicide. With this being said, these statistics are not and will never be accurate because these are only from those who have reported their rapes and their experiences following their rapes. More people who are raped don’t report their incidences than those who do. If you need help after being sexually assaulted, call RAINN at 1-800-656-4673. They are a very helpful resource.

I do not think that what Hannah did was the right choice and, while the bullying and assault that she faced filled me with anger, I don’t blame any of the thirteen for her death, directly. While I understand why Hannah felt the way she did, she made the worst choice that a person can make. She could have survived, fought against the injustice, and gone on to live an incredible life. I’ve seen online opinions that feel some of Hannah’s reasons for committing suicide were “petty,” but I don’t think anyone should be able to decide whether another person should feel hurt by something that wouldn’t hurt us. Hannah was in dire need of mental health support, which she did not receive in any form and was not mentioned in the first season of the show.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens, with over 5,000 attempts each day in the U.S., this subject needed to be discussed. The author of the book, Jay Asher, said, “Suicide is an uncomfortable thing to talk about, but it happens, and so we have to talk about it.”

Now onto Season 2. The new season dropped just two days ago, on May 18th. I binged this new season even more quickly than I did the first time around. There were things that I felt they did an excellent job with, but other things that I am appalled by and disgusted with. If you haven’t yet finished this season, feel free to bookmark this blog post for later and read on. Proceed with caution. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Continue reading “My Thoughts on Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why”

10 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Bookworm in Your Life

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The holidays are just around the corner, which means now is the time to purchase gifts for your loved ones. While I may not be the person to tell you what your tech-y brother or your garden-loving aunt have on their wish lists, if you have a book lover in your life, this list should help ease your gift buying trepidations.

Readers Gonna Read Enamel Pin

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Help the bookworm in your life promote their book-obsessed lifestyle with this adorable enamel pin.

“Books Turn Muggles into Wizards” Socks 

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Every bookworm knows that books turn muggles into wizards, so now they’ll have some adorable socks to prove it.

Gift Card(s)

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If you don’t know which books the bookworm you’re shopping for is longing for, a gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Half Priced Books, Book Outlet, or Thrift Books are an excellent alternative!

Frostbeard Candle

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Bookworms love candles, so bookish candles will surely be a hit. Frostbeard has a multitude of different scents that come in different forms and sizes.

Edgar Allen Poe Socks

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The bookworm in your life’s feet will be cold nevermore.

“When In Doubt, Go To the Library” Shirt

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Because you can’t go wrong with a Hermione Granger quote t-shirt.

“Please Go Away I’m Reading” Throw Pillow

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Finally, a throw pillow that says what your bookworm really wants to say.

Book Page Holder

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Now, the bookworm in your life can keep those pesky pages in check.

Book Beau (Protective Book Sleeve)

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Book lovers always keep their current reads on hand, which typically means they’re either being tossed into a purse or backpack (and getting bent) or being held (and getting rained on or risking being dropped). This book sleeve from Book Beau will solve all of their problems, while also being their most stylish bookish accessory. The Book Beau comes in many different patterns and sizes.

Book Beau Bean (Lap Pillow for Reading)

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The Book Beau Bean makes reading more comfortable! Give your bookworm the gift of relaxing reading this holiday season.

Do you have more bookworm gift ideas that you want to share? Leave some links in the comments section below. Share this post to drop not-so-subtle bookish gift hints to your Facebook friends. Happy holidays, bookworms!

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I Read Banned Books and You Should, Too

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Credit: Read, Sav, Read. 

Today is the final day of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. Throughout history, books have been challenged and banned from schools and libraries. When this happens, our freedom to read is threatened. Check out the ALA’s list of the Ten Most Challenged Books by Year. How many of those books have you read?

While the challenging and banning of books has decreased over time and is much less of an issue today, Banned Books Week is a time to reflect on and appreciate our right to read the books of our choice. I have, personally, found many of my favorite books to be those that have been challenged and/or banned. The ALA defines a book challenge as a “formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.”

Books that are banned offend people. They go beyond telling the stories of straight, white, Christian males who live bland lives and that is offensive to some. When I pick up a book, I want to read about characters who have varied genders, sexual orientations, classes, belief systems, races, states of mental health, and overall backgrounds. When we read, we are better able to empathize with others who exist and have existed through the human experience. Readers live thousands of different lives and are better people because of it.

In my opinion, a handful of offended people shouldn’t determine the entire public’s ability to access books that they could relate to or could help them better relate to others. What is distasteful to some is life changing to others. Celebrate Banned Books Week by opposing censorship and reading whatever you want!

You can get this I Read Banned Books mug here.

What are some of your favorite banned books? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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Why You Should Be Listening to Audiobooks

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If you can’t seem to find time to sit down and read, audiobooks might be exactly what you need in your life. Between raising my son, working, and college, I don’t have much time for pleasure reading. While it can be difficult to make the time to sit down with a physical book, I have found that I get much more reading done when I listen to audiobooks while driving, cleaning, cooking, and exercising. Reflect on how you spend your time and incorporate audiobooks into your lifestyle. Though I love audiobooks, not everyone feels the same. I have friends who can’t focus on the book unless they are giving their undivided attention to a physical copy. Though they aren’t for everyone, I highly suggest that everyone give them a fair chance.

There are several ways you can go about accessing audiobooks. You can purchase a set of CDs or use an app on your phone or iPod. Be sure and check with your local library, as well. The majority of my audiobook endeavors are courtesy of the library in my town. I check out audiobooks, both physical and downloadable, all for free. The downloadable audiobooks are available through the Overdrive app, which only requires you to sign in with your library username and password before giving you immediate, free of cost access to most every book you can imagine. When my library doesn’t have what I’m seeking out or the wait list is longer than I’d like, I will purchase the audiobook through the Audible app. When you sign up for Audible, you get your first month free. After your free month is up, you pay $14.95/month and receive one credit a month. Each credit redeems you a single audiobook. While this might seem kind of expensive, it should be noted that most audiobooks are priced around $49.95. If you want more than what your monthly credit offers, you’ll get additional books for 30% off. If you only need access to a cheap audiobook on Audible once or every once in a while, you can turn your subscription off and on as you please, just as I do. I recommend using Overdrive and your library’s resources before diving into Audible and spending money, but feel free to browse all of your options.

If you don’t already have a library card, look up where your local library is and apply for a card. You might have to go to the physical location, but many libraries allow you to sign up online. If so, you can look forward to streaming free audiobooks in the very near future. What are your thoughts on audiobooks? What are some of your favorite books that you’ve listened to? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

How To Buy More Books For Less

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While I try to utilize my local library as often as possible and read for free, I also like to purchase books that I end up loving. I justify my book buys by telling myself that they will all fit much more nicely in my future in-home library. With that being said, when I buy books (aside from the rare brand new purchase), I like to keep it on the cheap side. My three go to websites that I always keep my eye on are Thriftbooks, Book Depository, and Book Outlet.

Thriftbooks

Thriftbooks is one of my favorite book websites because it has some of the best prices for books that I am actually interested in purchasing. I’ve come across some websites that do, indeed, have low prices, but don’t have currently popular books, classic literature, or best sellers of any kind. While the books are used, all of my orders have been in good to excellent shape. With a current deal on Thriftbooks, you can get 2 books for $7, 3 for $20, or 4 for $12. The website says, “Any book you find with a ‘Deal’ tag qualifies.” Thriftbooks is also currently offering 15% off your order if you use the coupon code “SAVEMORE” when you check out right now. The website offers Reading Rewards where you earn $5 for every $50 you spend. On a typical book website, you might rack up more $5 stipends than you will on Thriftbooks. For the sake of savings, I’d advise you to invest in additional bookshelves in advance. Thriftbooks also has a Tell-A-Friend program where those who create a free account get a 15% off coupon, as does the person the newcomer signs up under. You can sign up under my link here and we will both get 15% off our next purchases.

Book Depository

Book Depository has a plethora of best sellers, new releases, and top picks for readers of all ages. One of Book Depository’s signature feats is their free worldwide shipping. This website has over 17 million available titles ready to be purchased by you. Check out the Bargain Shop section on the Book Depository website for even larger savings. You can get shopping now by clicking here!

Book Outlet

Book Outlet claims to have “read-iculously low prices” and they mean it. Just peruse their website and you’ll see exactly what they mean. All of their books are 50%-90% off the original retail price. Book Outlet, much like Thriftbooks, also has a rewards system. With every dollar you spend and friend you invite to Book Outlet, you earn points. Your points become Book Outlet credit. 100 points equates to $5. For every two dollars you spend, you get one point. For every friend you introduce to the site, you get 200 points (or, in other words, $10 credit). You can also earn points by following them on social media, creating a free account, and signing up for their newsletter. Book Outlet has free shipping on all orders over $35. You can start buying books from Book Outlet right now, right here.

I hope that you all get as much out of these discount book websites as I do. Hooray for cheap reading! Share with us what books you purchased from these websites (and for how much) in the comments section to let everyone else know how little they can spend for the books they want to read.