Monday, July 29, 2013

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Paperback: 336 Pages

Publisher: Razorbill

ISBN: 978-1-59514-188-0

My Rating: 3.5/5
Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her. Then Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes-and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death. All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town...and what he discovers changes his life forever.

I really really struggled with what to rate this book. I did really like it. It kept me interested and I enjoyed reading it. But after finishing the book and reading the ending I was a little disappointed. I actually explained the book in great detail to a friend that's a male and he just looked at me and said "Was this book written by a guy?" Why yes, yes it was. I want to give you fair warning that my review may contain spoilers. I might need to vent about my frustrations and reveal key points in this novel. So just a heads up. With that being said, I think Asher is a good author and I would definitely like to read something else from him so long as it's not a similar style of book.

One of the things I really enjoyed about 'Thirteen Reasons Why' was the dual narration. There are two main voices. Although it's Clay Jensen's POV, Hannah Baker has an equal amount of narrating if not more. I've never read a book with a simultaneous narration from two distinctly different characters. It was great and Asher did amazing in that aspect. Now on to what I didn't like. I didn't like her 13 reasons for why she killed herself. I know that we all handle stress differently and stuff but to me, she faced nothing different than any other teenage girl or (in some cases) boy. I read this book in a very small amount of time, it was an easy read but I honestly kept holding out hope that something would happen. Something besides rumors and other peoples flaws as characters. I was waiting for it to come out that she was raped, not that someone else was. And how can she sit there and berate people for not reaching out to help her when she couldn't reach out and help the girl being raped? She's a walking contradiction. I won't say more about the book then that but I have something to say about all 13 reasons.

Overall, I did like reading this novel. It was interesting and it kept me engaged; however, I'd never read another one like it. I was really disappointed and I feel like it gives an extremely negative message. She justifies killing herself for rumors and things that she let happen? If we all reacted the same way I think the world would be a very small place. I struggled with whether to give this book a 3 or a 4 so it is officially my first book that I've given a half a point to. I do fully encourage everyone to read this book and see what you think yourself. Very few people dislike it from what I've seen so give it a shot.


  1. I thought that one of the HUGE messages of this book is that we all handle "life" differently. I felt the same way that you did -- she didn't face anything different than most teens. But she couldn't handle it. This book really made me look at teens differently. I am always aware that when something happens that seems like "no big deal" that I might have a much bigger effect on others. So, to me, the parts you (and I) didn't like about the book -- well, maybe those parts WERE the book.

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