Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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