Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Genre: youth fiction,
FTC Disclosure: borrowed from library
Published: 2007
Pages: 288
Content: PG-13

In a Line:  Powerful commentary on how our lives touch others in so many ways for the good and for the worst.

We meet Clay as he receives a box of cassette tapes...they are from a girl Hannah who recently committed suicide. He listens hauntingly as her voice explains why she she has done this...She gives 13 reasons why she decided to commit suicide and Clay desperately wants to find out why she did what she did and why he is on the tapes.

This was a really clever idea. We get into Hannah's head and find out who she is and what led her to the unthinkable act of taking her own life. We slowly learn how Clay fits into all of it and how Hannah has affected his life. Everyone on the tape starts connecting to each other....At first I wondered what would be so horrible to tip her over the edge but as time went on I realized that it's not necessarily big stuff. Everyone is different. We each have our hangups and problems. I think Asher's main point was that you never know how your actions can affect others. The things that happened to Hannah...well, probably most teens would learn to deal somehow, graduate, and move on...but sometimes that's not the case. I think it's a good wakeup call to really think about how we treat people and the effect it can have, good or bad. So sometimes it is the little things. And yeah, it is really messed up what Hannah does by making and sending those tapes...which is why I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't just a cliche reason...there is no real rhyme or reason to why people decide to take their own lives; that's the point. People's lives will forever be changed by Hannah's actions, her suicide, and now her tapes. What are those people going to do? Give up or move forward?

Asher wrote a very compelling and complex novel and it opens up dialogue, another reason for read this book.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Other cover...

I think I actually like this version better. It feels more to the point for me. This must be the UK cover.


  1. Sounds like a great if tragic theme for a book.
    Suicide is so common especially among the young.

  2. This is an AMAZING book! I just loved it! Great review.

  3. I only have seen the UK cover of it at the bookstore. It never got my full atention, but it sounds very sad. I may give it a shot after reading your review for it. Great review.

  4. This has been on my list forever. I have noted that the audio is supposed to be great too. I really need an extra hour a day to read!


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