Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Published by Razorbill
Pub Date: October 18th 2007
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

How many of you have known someone who’s committed suicide? A classmate, friend, relative? I can think of 3. Two classmates and a friend’s younger sister. I wasn’t close to any of them, I was friendly with them, said hello or goodbye when I passed them in the halls, maybe had a drink with them at a party, but I wouldn’t have called them my friends. And unlike Hannah’s situation, theirs were all made in haste with a gunshot, over break-ups. There were no signs, no hints. The fact they weren’t your friends doesn’t take away the feeling of wishing to have been able to say something…do something, anything. To tell them it’s not worth it, that although their heart is exploding with pain at this moment, it will get better.

This book brought out a lot of emotions from me. Obviously it made think of the people I just talked about, but also, while reading about Hannah’s reasons it made me remember how quickly and thoroughly rumors can change a person’s life. Reading them triggered some of my own long-buried memories from high school that I would rather not rehash. I think that’s why I connected so completely with this book. While my own experiences never escalated to Hannah’s point, I still understood her feelings a little too clearly at times.

The unique style this book is written added to how affected I was by it. It’s not Hannah’s chapter, then Clay’s chapter with his reaction. It’s Clay listening to Hannah and reacting to her words in real-time, per say. The fact that Clay is reacting as he’s listening to the tapes made me feel like I was the one with the headphones on.

Hannah’s revelations are all heart-wrenching, but it didn’t stop me from needing to know the whole story. This book is definitely a page-turner. I was up until 4AM reading and started it back up as soon as I could the next day.

What I’ll be taking away from it, as Clay does, is to not ignore any possible signs. To try harder and push past our comfort zones and reach out to those who we think may be going through difficult times. To watch my words and actions to others. You never know what that person may be going through and how you could unknowingly be adding to their distress.

I strongly recommend for everyone to read this book. To share with their students, children, nieces, nephews, friends…everyone. We can all learn something from this book.

 

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Jess @ Gone with the Words

Jess @ Gone with the Words

About Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Jess is a 30 something female living in Texas. Most days you will find her on Twitter, giving her opinion on her latest reads, her latest tv obsessions, movies, and hot dudes. In her free time she loves to watch tv, movies, and of course, read tons of books with hot dudes in them. She also makes time to run this blog. :)

18 Responses to “Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher”

  1. Liz Tea

    I've thought about picking this up before, but never did. I definitely think I'm going to have to now.

  2. DJL

    I'd seen this book on several others' blogs, but yours is the first review I've read. And now I get why so many people want to read Thirteen Reasons Why. I will definitely add it to my reading list and share it with others. Thank you for your review, Jess.~DJL

  3. Najela

    I really love this books, it's one of my all time favorites. It did bring up a lot of memories in high school and how words can cut people. At any rate, great review. I heard they were supposed to make a movie of this.

  4. Komal

    I really want to read this book. I've been hearing a lot of great things about it and I can't get it out of my head now. I will definitely be getting it asap.Thanks for the great review. I am a new follower, by the way :)

  5. Megan Marie

    I absolutely loved this book. I read it a couple of years ago and was instantly obsessed. I think I actually made my sister read it right after I did.I'm glad you liked it as much as I did. I've read some reviews where they didn't like it and I just couldn't figure out why?Anyway, great review :DMegan Marie

  6. Missie, The Unread Reader

    Jess, *hugs* Thanks for making this review so personal. I really appreciated reading about your emotional connect to the story. I own this book, but I've kind of been too afraid to read it.

  7. Logan E. Turner

    I've also experienced suicide in my life, and it is really rough. That's one of the reasons I've hesitated to read this one, but I think it's an important book for the reasons you said. Suicide isn't something that should be kept in the dark. Great review, Jess.

  8. Jacinda (The Reading Housewives)

    Too many people I know have tried/succeeded(is that a bad word to use?) at committing suicide. I read this book before many of those suicides took place. I'm curious as how I would have viewed this book after the events. Great review!

  9. Mrs. V

    Some of my students read this earlier this year. The format sounded very interesting. I always love books that have different formats than the typical.

  10. jessygt

    LOVED your review. Reading until 4AM and re-reading on the next day? Yeah, I can relate to that. hahahOne of my fav books ever.

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