Page Count: 288
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.
This is a book that tackles some pretty serious issues, and they are not issues most people even acknowledge until they are forced to. And for that I find this book to be very touching and eye opening. I can’t give it a higher star count because I still have some issues with it, but they are issues that make sense when you take the time to think on it. I don’t normally read contemporary fiction and the reasoning is kind of ironic. I don’t like reading about real life, it tends to be far too depressing. So why did I choose this? I can’t really say, I saw it and put it down to begin with. But after walking around the whole store I walked back and picked it up, I just had to. The concept was interesting, and it was something that seemed like it needed to be read. And read I did, I finished it at 4am the day after I bought it.
I think the writing and the style was very effective in telling this story. By having the different point of views, Hannah and Clay’s, it really gives you a kind of perspective and the characters’ voices. Hannah is telling her story and gives her reasons, and even though it seems like she’s giving most of the story…I think it’s important to realize that’s she’s not and that she’s not meant to be a perfect person. There is a lot she doesn’t say and thus we only get what she tells. Clay’s voice was kind of like mine at times, and so I connected him with the reader’s perceptive. He said things that I was thinking like the fact that I didn’t find some of excuses to be good reasons to end her life. I think that’s where it looses stars. Don’t get me wrong I understand that everyone is different, their tolerance and threshold is different and some times things can get heavy. There times during the book though that just really got on my bad side, like the whole concept of these tapes being made. It bothered me that she would go through it all just so she could tell why she committed suicide (and if you read it you’ll see why, but I’ll avoid saying why due to spoilers). It also bothered me about some of the reasons she included, some did in fact seem like she was searching for reasons or that she didn’t do more to avoid it. The way it was written does grip you though and nearly refuses to let you go. I had to read her whole story, regardless of weather or not I felt she wasn’t completely justified in all of her choices. Let me say it does NOT condone suicide, never once does it make it seem like an acceptable route.
Just because I gave this 3 stars doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of 5, and in a sense it really is but somethings bothered me and it effected my response to it. The message in this book is one that needs to be discussed, especially with high school kids who tend to take a kind of freedom with their choices. I do recommend this book but if you don’t like books with heavy topics then you should probably steer clear.
You can buy Thirteen Reasons Why here on Amazon:
Other books by this author: