young adult book reviews & more

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons WhyOne day Clay Jensen comes home from school to find a shoe box package with no return address. At first he’s excited, but when he opens the box, he finds seven cassette tapes. And when he plays them, he finds that they were recorded by a classmate named Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

Recorded on the tapes are thirteen reasons why Hannah chose to end her life. The reasons are all linked to specific people, and the tapes are passed onto those people in the order they are on Hannah’s list. They are all, in some way, responsible for Hannah’s death. Clay stays out the whole night, listening to the sounds of Hannah’s voice leading him throughout the town, basically reliving select experiences from Hannah’s life that lead up to her decision to end it.

Hannah’s narration is interwoven with Clay’s actions and memories, which sometimes makes the story confusing to read. However, it does help to better understand both Clay’s and Hannah’s emotions. Hannah’s reasons for suicide are hard to read for Clay, who alternates between blaming himself and blaming Hannah for not letting Clay reach out to her. It was hard for me to read as well, and I cried many times while reading.

For a debut novel, Thirteen Reasons Why is exceptionally well written for such a serious topic. It is often difficult to address things such as suicide because many people don’t want to discuss it. However, I think this book was wonderfully written. This novel thoroughly demonstrates the consequences of even the smallest actions and what the piling up of problems can cause, which Hannah refers to as the snowball effect. There are so many life lessons to be learned from this novel. I highly recommend this book because it has truly changed the way I think.

Rating: 5.0

Review copy from personal collection

7 munch(es) :

the story siren said...

I really liked this book! i'm glad you liked it too!

greeneyedwriter said...

Wow! This book sounds interesting! Sad and unique.


Teen Troves said...

This was one of my favorite 2007 reads. An interesting take on a difficult subject.

Em said...

This was definitely one of my favorite books from last year. I loved that it was haunting and hopeful at the same time.

Unknown said...

This is the second book off your list I've read and I love it, it's eye opening and heart breaking at the same time. Thank you for reviewing it.

Anonymous said...

I have recently read this book. . . fantastic. I loved it. Thirteen Reasons Why is filled with meaning; it really stays with you.

Thanks for reviewing it!

Anonymous said...

I don't usually read books containing suicide, but I feel that this one is so interesting that I need to.

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