Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay Ashey
First published October 18th, 2007

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.

I absolutely loved this book. What an eye opener. In Thirteen Reasons Why we listen to audio tapes that was sent to 13 people by Hannah who committed suicide, to explain her reasons why.

First I want to mention that to all the reviewers who say that her reasons weren’t “good enough” for her to kill herself, you’re wrong. Everyone doesn’t cope with situations the same way, and problems that may seem minimalistic to you, can send the next person into depression. We all have our own ways of working through our issues, and some have a much harder time than others. These were her reasons to commit suicide, which were enough for her, who are we to judge?

Personally I thought it was amazingly done and very realistic. There weren’t any embellishments or glorifications, it was true portrayal of teen suicide. We go through the story with Clay while he is listening to Hannah’s tapes. The narration goes back and forth between the tapes and what Clay is doing/thinking. I really though this was a great way to pace the story and build up the suspense. And every single page is full of suspense. I really could have stayed up all night reading it.

The story contains a lot of emotions; Intense and raw emotions. We go through them with Hannah as well as Clay, simultaneously. Hearing her tapes makes us realize that our actions, however small, can have a whirlwind of an effect on others. Yes, sending those tapes may have been a little mean. But obviously there was a lot going on with Hannah and she needed to get this out. I don’t condone her for it, but I can understand why she thought it necessary.

It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but suicide is not something to take lightly. Asher did an amazing job of taking a sensitive subject and writing a very touching, mesmerizing novel.

5/5 hot espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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

  1. Carina

    I’ve heard so many positive things about this novel, but I have to admit that I’ve always been a little bit scared to pick this up. I usually prefer light-hearted stories – yes, of course I need some drama, but with a happy ending; and suicide is such a depressive but important topic that it always felt a little bit too much for me to read about for enjoyment. But I feel like I can’t ignore those reviews any longer. Maybe I really need to get a copy of this.

    Thanks for sharing your review with us. It’s great. 🙂

  2. Jackie's Little World

    First of all, great review! I have seen this at the bookstore but never picked it up. It sounds amazing!! I also tend towards lighter books, but I’ll read something else if it’s worth my time.

    Even without having read it yet, I agree that nobody knows how certain things affect different people. I look forward to reading this one!

  3. The Happy Booker

    I completely agree with your response to those who say her reasons weren’t good enough. I mean, I can’t honestly think of ANY reasons that are “good enough” or that justify suicide. However, most teenager feel things so intensely and it is so difficult for them to look at things from an outside perspective and so even something most people find insignificant can seem like a “good enough” reason to not want to face tomorrow. I loved this book and I’m glad to see you enjoyed it too. Brilliant review!

    Donna @ The Happy Booker

  4. Jin

    This one is one of my absolute favorites. I’ve read it many, many times yet every time it’s different. Touching and mesmerizing. So true.

  5. Rapunzel (Escape the Tower)

    I loved this book. It was so emotionally powerful and I probably looked like a freak crying in public. So embarrassing but so worth it.

    I thought that her reasons for suicide were perfect for the very same reasons as you.

    However I think that it showed how much supernatural/paranormal/romantic books that I read when at the end I really wished Clay could turn back time and stop Hannah from killing herself. Maybe they could go on a date and…

    Yeah, I think you get the picture.

  6. UK

    I love the sound of this one! I’m a bit wary about the ending (not a huge fan of the ones that are left open) but I love the whole concept, and the romance bits sounds great. Thanks for the great review! 🙂

  7. Mona

    Thanks for your honest review 🙂 I won this book in a giveaway but have yet to read it. I like intense, emotional, and heart-wrenching reads but I have to be in the mood for it. Also, the books don’t always have to have a happy and/or conclusive ending.

    I totally agree that one should be careful with his/her words/actions.