Review : Thirteen Reasons Why

Posted: June 19, 2009 in Reviews, Young Adult Book Challenge 2009

Book: Th1rteen R3asons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Binding: Hardcover
Publishing Date: 2007/10/18
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Number of Pages: 288

Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher

From Back Cover Of The Book :

Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 13 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 will 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 reader

My Views :

When I started reading Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why , I knew it was a good story based on all the reviews I had read but I just didn’t realise it would be so powerful.

Hannah Baker has committed suicide and she is making the people she feels are responsible for her miserable life and eventual death pay by making them listen to the tapes she has recorded and sent in to circulation.They need to keep circulating the tape or else they will all be exposed.
We see the events through the eyes of Clay Jenkins , Hannah’s classmate and colleague at her summer job. He has no idea why he is one reason why Hannah killed herself but is about to find out and soon enough.

Every character in Hannah’ life has been sketched really well. Hannah gives you her view about the person and we also get Clay’s views , pretty much completing the picture.Asher’s speed of narrative is just what needs to be. It brings up all of the teen DON T’S -alcohol , reckless driving , sexual abuse , peer pressure..Still it doesn’t preach that is what makes it so good. Actions and their subsequent consequences are just put up there so that we can analyse and see what went wrong.

The way Hannah is wronged and subjected to crude gossip is what happens to so many teenagers in school these days. They are misunderstood, they are not given a chance to explain themselves and even if they get a chance who is ready to believe them ,for gossip is so much more juicier than truth, isn’t it? The signs of coming suicide are almost always there but how many notice it and more importantly how many take a step towards these wounded souls is the question.

I couldn’t stop reading till I had finished it and I must confess that , though this isn’t a feel good book , it is one of those you are not supposed to miss.

  1. Iliana says:

    This was such a good book wasn't it? I think it'd be great for a book discussion. I wonder if he's got any other books out. Must go look!

  2. Jenners says:

    I've heard quite a bit about this book to the point that I think I have to read it for myself! Great review.

  3. Shona says:

    @ Iliana- It was really hard to put it down before completing it.Has he written anything else?

    @ Jennifer – I think u must read this book.I used to feel ,why is everybody recommending it so highly , when I read it I realised why..