Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Review - Thirteen Reasons Why

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher

Book Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

My Review: There are no words that can express the depth that this book takes you to. It is amazing in the impact it has on the reader.

There are books out there about suicide but this book is different. The deed has already been done. Hannah is gone and nothing will change that, but how the people in her life behave can change. Before ending her life, Hannah created seven tapes. Each side of the tape holds a story from her life that has contributed to her decision.

The thing I loved about this book was Clay. We follow Clay as he receives the package of tapes on his doorstep and we experience the tapes with him. We read what he's thinking as he hears the different stories. And he's real. As he listens he gets angry and he judges and he cries and he mourns. The best part, though, is that he changes. The tapes do what they were intended to do for at least one of the characters.

The other thing I loved about this book was that Hannah took full responsibility for her decision. The stories contributed to her decision, yes, but she never once said, "I did this because of you." She made that very clear. This was her decision, her choice. I liked this because it helps the reader sympathize that much more with her. At times it's easy to agree with Clay, that she is being vicious by dragging these kids' actions in front of twelve other people...but she isn't being vicious. She's trying to teach, to help them learn not to hurt people the way she was hurt.

Suicide is a sad thing, but it's real. It happens every day. Part of the problem is ignorance and part of it is that it's a taboo subject to talk about. Teenagers need to know about this so they can help their friends when they might be going through something similar. This book is a great way to help enlighten them. I would recommend it to anyone and I think everyone should read it. We all need to learn and be better because what we do does affect other people, even if we don't realize it.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you. It was sad that Hannah did what she did but she didn't let us pity her in any way.