Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013 - , 2 comments

13 Reasons Why

Rating: 5 Stars
Version: Hardback
Author: Jay Asher

GoodReads Summary:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen 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.

“Wow.” As I begin typing, it’s the only word that comes to mind. This book is very powerful in the sense that you get to see what goes on behind a troubled teens mind. Unfortunately, most if not all of us can relate to what Hannah Baker experiences. Who can say they haven’t been the victim of a vicious rumor? I feel a little guilt even as I say this, but who can also say they are innocent of believing rumors? Much like everyone else, I have experienced both, so it’s not hard to imagine what she went through.

Hannah Baker’s story is told through 13 tapes. Each tape is dedicated to a person that played a significant role in her decision to commit suicide. The story follows protagonist Clay Jensen, a boy who had a crush on Hannah. Shocked to discover he played a part in her suicide, Clay begins to goes through the tapes. Clay, like the other twelve, has a map marked with specific locations. These locations are where you are instructed to go as Hannah tells her story. Its purpose is to help you think and feel the same way Hannah did. The stories are not randomly put together, they flow very easily and her pain radiates through the pages.

As I “heard” the first few tapes, I stuck to the belief that she was going to kill herself over some silly rumor. However, by the end it was clear it was not just a silly rumor that killed her, that was simply the starting point. The term snowball effect is used throughout this story and that’s exactly what the rumor starts.

I’m going to give away a little bit of the story here:
It’s painful to think of how something so innocent, such as a girl wanting to get her first kiss, can spiral so terribly out of control. Hannah gets her kiss, but she also gets more than she bargained for, a boy fictitiously bragging to his buddies. This rumor is what initiated the snowball effect. Linked with other events, her trust, security, hope, and sense of self are all stolen. Hannah was literally left with nothing. It's really painful to hear Clay's thoughts. You hear how he felt for her, that he really cared and wanted to help her, but she pushed him away. 

Despite how this story sounds, it is not depressing. The latter half has you hooked wanting to find out what happened or shocked at what people are capable of doing. I caught myself several times playing along with the story, “I bet she…” or “wow what a jerk”, or thinking, “I can’t believe that” as my jaw dropped.  If anything, I think this booked helped me to not brush off suicides as easily as I did in the past. 

One thing to really think about is how difficult it would be to pass on these tapes. Could you do it? What if you had raped a girl, caused a death, or just been plain mean? Could you mail the tapes to the next person? Hannah was smart when she made backups and threatened to have someone release them publicly if the mailing list was broken.  Think of the guilt you would feel and how others (who know) will treat you, but it was either that or let the whole world hear what you did.


I had to come read this review when I saw it posted on twitter. It's currently sitting on my bookcase dying to be read! After reading this I'm going to have to move it up in my TBR!!!

Crystal @ Crystal in Bookland

It is a really good read :). I'll be looking forward to reading your review as well :).

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