Books Magazine

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

By Littlebookstar @LittleBookStar

Thirteen Reasons WhyGenre: YA Contemporary
Published: June 14, 2011 by Penguin Group Inc.
Length: 336 pages
Source: bought (at Barnes & Noble)

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 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.”

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I was hooked on from the moment I read the first page. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is about Hannah Baker, a high school girl, who committed suicide, but before she ended her life, she recorded herself saying the reasons why she killed herself. There are thirteen people to blame, including Clay. Hannah and Clay are the ones telling the story. They don’t alternate like “Chapter 1: Hannah” “Chapter 2: Clay”. They both narrate in each chapter which got me annoyed at first. Clay would be listening to the tapes while Hannah tells her reason(s), and then Clay would make a side-comment. Hannah would be in italics and Clay would be in regular font. It was a little bit annoying because while I was concentrated and synced-in in Hannah’s story, Clay would just randomly pop up and say his opinion. It’s kind of like you’re driving fast on a highway and suddenly an orange cone is thrown at you. I got used to the writing style though.

These two characters are very realistic and relatable. Clay and Hannah both go to the same school, but have only spoken once or twice. I could totally relate to Clay because what he felt and did was just very realistic. I would have felt and done the same thing. For Hannah, I had a love-hate relationship with her character. I just didn’t like how she wasn’t straightforward at times. Like, do I look like a magic 8 ball that would guess what you’re thinking? At times, Clay also thought of that (that people can’t guess what you’re thinking) and I felt the same way! While reading, I’d just be like “Hannah, I know it’s difficult, but just spill it!” Sometimes I had to read between the lines too, and it took me a while to know what Hannah was trying to say which was a bit annoying as well.

What really got me in this book was the 2nd to the last tape (Hannah’s last reason of why she killed herself). I seriously cried while I was reading that whole chapter. Ugh! That scene was very powerful and just sad!

Overall I would highly recommend this book especially if you are a YA contemporary lover, or if you’re in the mood to read a very sad, depressing book.

4 of 5

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