Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher {#JustContemporary}

I’ve had this book on my shelf since July and have wanted to read it since before then.  When I signed up for Just Contemporary {find out more about this event HERE} I knew that I HAD to fit it in.  And I am SO glad I did.  This was an absolutely amazing story.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Paperback, 288 pgs.
Published Oct. 2007 {first publication}
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Gift

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.

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 was a powerful story, I mean, how could it not be?  And while I knew it wasn’t going to be some happy go lucky tale, I had a feeling it was an important story.  How often have you known someone who committed suicide?  Hopefully not many, but I know I’ve known several and the thoughts of why went through my head plenty.  Getting an idea of how things can spiral out of control, to get into the mind of someone who did commit suicide, is a unique experience and I thought was a brilliant idea for a novel.  The little things that happen in our interaction with other people really can impact their lives.  Positively or negatively.  In this case we mostly see all the negative.  These people for the most part are normal teens.  They do stupid stuff, they say stupid stuff, they do little things that negatively impact others.  And all those little things add up.  
Clay gets this box of tapes and once he starts listening and discovers that Hannah made this for all the people that had a hand in destroying her he doesn’t know what it is he did.  He liked Hannah, he really liked her.  So as the story progresses the urge to find out what his part is only gets stronger.  I grew attached to Clay almost right away.  With his thoughts being thrown it was clear he was a good guy.  Anything he could have done had to have been accidental.  I just had to read faster to find out.   
I highly recommend you pick this one up if you haven’t already.  It’s a powerful story that will make you want to be a better person.  It’s totally unique {at least I’ve never read anything like it} and it really makes you think.  It’s also very fast paced and easy to fly through.
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Comments

  1. Fantastic review, Candace! :) I agree with you on this one, definitely a powerful book that was highly enjoyable. I felt the same way about Clay! I couldn’t even imagine him doing something so bad that he drove a girl to suicide. Anyways, I’m glad you enjoyed this book!

  2. Wow, this books sounds amazing. I haven’t really read much about it, but now I really want to know what part Clay played in everything, and whether his impact on her life was positive or negative. Really fantastic review Candace!

  3. That was a great review on book that I think is very hard to review. I have read comments from people who have said they thought the MC didn’t have “good” reasons for committing suicide. There are adults that act just as stupid or worse than kids when it comes to depression. I think this a book that everyone needs to read!

    Heather

  4. This is a remarkable novel–I am so glad you liked it. It really makes you think about whether intentional or not you actions do influence people. This is one of my favorite books and I really wish more people would read it. BTW: The audio version is great because you have two narrators.

  5. Yes! Just, yes! Amazing review of an amazing book! I haven’t made a secret of the fact that I have so much love for this book! I’m glad that you read it and loved it too!!

    I think it’s such an important book!

  6. This one has been sitting on my bookshelf for several months as well…I feel like I should read it but am just afraid (I’m a wimp–sometimes I think that real life is bad enough and I just want to read happy books to escape!)

  7. This is another one of those books that I just didn’t love as much as everyone else. Maybe there’s something wrong with me…? I did like it, though and I’m happy you loved it! :)

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