Monday, August 22, 2011

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Release Date: October 18th 2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: Hardcover, 288 pages
Genre: Young Adult
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.
I've had this book laying around for quite a long time, but only recently worked up the guts to read it. I dealt with a suicide almost a year ago and it's was a very sad time in my life, not just because I lost someone I cared about, but I had to see how it affected the people he loved, people I also love very much.

This is obviously an emotional read. I think the pacing of the novel was well done. Hannah's issues started out so petty. Such tiny, little things to be upset about, but gradually they escalated into something bigger and harder to patch up. Of course, I could see the light past those problems and wished I could jump in and shake some sense into the girl, but that is the point; sometimes that is easier to say than do.

The last thing I ever said was in a message on MySpace. I told him, Relax, Take It Eaaaaasy! and told him to call me. I was being serious in my own way and was genuinely trying to cheer him up, but I wish I would have reminded him he had a daughter, that he was loved, that life was worth living. I wished I would have said more. Anything that would have changed the outcome.

This was definitely an introspective and emotional read. And I doubt I'll ever want to read it again. Once was enough. Sorry this review is all over the place. This was really difficult to review!


  1. Books that hit close to home are difficult to review, aren't they? I'm not sure I'm brave enough to read a story so close to reality - reading tends to be my escape from that reality - but if I decide to, this one will be on the shortlist.

  2. I think this book is on my shelf to read somewhere? I might pass now, I can't stand to read something with an ending, where the two people in love didn't get together. I would bawl my eyes out.

    It seems to have brought some bad memories for you and I am sorry that it did. It is good at times to read an emotional tale and have a change, but when they speak about something you have experienced it can really make the emotion closer to despair.

  3. I really admire that you had the courage to even read this book after your experience Liza. I've put off reading this one because of the suicide theme and it being something I can't really relate to because as you said, there are some times when you just want to jump in and shake some sense into people.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your experience, Liza - it was brave of you to read and review this after what you've been through.

    I thought it was realistic how this book showed the little things in Hannah's life building up.

  5. Thank you all for your comments! I'm glad that this book was written though. I only hope that the teenagers who read this book do not find a way to glorify suicide, but rather see how unfortunate it is and the effects it has on others. Especially the fact that Hannah felt so alone, but there was somebody who liked her a lot and she never got the chance to know about it.

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sometimes there is just simply nothing you can go to change someone's mind.

    I also admire your courage and I hope you got something good out of this novel.

    Great review, though :).