Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Published: October 18th, 2007

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.”

Review:

This book was pretty heavy to read. I can’t even imagine having to listen to tapes from a girl who committed suicide. I’d be too much of a mess emotionally, especially if I was like Clay who was actually close to Hannah. That can mess with a person’s head just as much.

This book was extremely quick to read because I wanted to know what was going to happen with each tape. Who was going to be on it? Which one of her friends? Who bullied her? What happened? What caused her to commit suicide? There were so many questions that needed to be answered.

Thirteen Reasons Why mainly focused on Clay listening to the tapes. Unfortunately, I think that’s where I had to keep a five star rating from. I was a little confused. There were some scenes that I believe should’ve been more detailed but were left too vague. Where were Hannah’s parents? I know they own a store, but they never had any conversation in the book. It was Clay. Clay listening to the tapes in one night. I think that it should’ve been over a few days. Therefore, over a few days, the author could’ve added dialogue or more details about what happened.

I read the book right before the show debuted on Netflix. Honestly, I didn’t like the show at first. It strayed too far away from the book. However, when I got later in the season, the show became better than the book for me (which rarely happens). There was so much more detail and the act of “sitting on the edge of your seat”. The scenes that I felt were vague in the book were a lot more detailed and visual in the show.

I think this book should be mandatory to read in middle school and high school. Bullying occurs so much in today’s society, it’s disgusting. I live in New Jersey where the bullying laws are some of the strictest in the United States, and it still happens to kids in the school district every day. There was recently a boy that committed suicide in my town at the young age of 12. He was bullied every day. I think having this as a mandatory book would show kids that it’s not okay to bully and make others feel bad.

Rating: ★★★★

6 thoughts on “Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

  1. I really enjoyed your review, but I have to disagree with your sentiment of making this mandatory reading for middle and high school students.

    I recognize that suicide is a taboo subject and that bullying and depression need to be discussed in order to be addressed, but I feel the entire premise of this novel is detrimental to that discussion. While it raises the issue of how we treat others, the idea of killing oneself in order to spite those who have wronged them and make those people feel bad is a very attractive idea for someone in that mindset.

    I will admit that I haven’t watched the show or read the book, but I have read multiple reviews and synopses and what I have gleaned is that though this may be a good jump off point, there is a very specific way in which this should be presented that not only what the characters did to Hannah was wrong, but her solution was wrong as well.

    I apologize for getting on a soap box on your blog post; I really did enjoy your review and look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can see your point of view. I just think there is something to be said about bullying. I thought the way she did it was spiteful, I do agree with that! I think that it will have a different perspective in the mind of younger kids. Reading the book definitely wasn’t as graphic the show. Watching the show might be worse in my opinion. Thanks for enjoying my review. I love hearing all opinions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished this book and really enjoyed it. I think suicide is a topic we shouldn’t shy away from especially with a teenage crowd. I just started watching the series on Netflix and am disappointed with the first 2 episodes. I’m so glad to hear you say it gets much better. Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The first few episodes are pretty disappointing because they aren’t really like the book. The book is really just Clay listening to the tapes. You have to keep watching. Things really happen in the last few episodes 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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