Also by this author: What Light
Published by Penguin on 2007
Genres: Young Adult, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Social Issues, Death & Dying, Friendship, Suicide
Buy on Amazon
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER "Eerie, beautiful, and devastating." --Chicago Tribune "A stealthy hit with staying power. . . thriller-like pacing." --The New York Times "Thirteen Reasons Why will leave you with chills long after you have finished reading." --Amber Gibson, NPR's "All Things Considered" 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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Retro Friday Book Reviews are hosted by Angieville. Basically you review an out-of-printer, underrated, or older title on Fridays. Pretty much this feature ROCKS.
I love reading books that have received a lot of attention. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher published in 2007 still garners reviews in the book blogosphere. I’m not sure what I can say that will be different, but maybe you don’t read book blogs. Maybe you need just a little push to FINALLY pick up Thirteen Reasons Why – I hope I can do that. Thirteen Reasons Why is a book that made me think deeply and consider my actions — we know I am not the nicest person so maybe I should reconsider my words and actions (baby steps, y’all).
Clay Jensen comes home from school and finds a box of tapes. At first he is excited (don’t lie, you still get excited for packages too) until he hears the voice – it’s Hannah Baker – a classmate and coworker who has committed suicide. The seven tapes outline the Thirteen Reasons Why Hannah took her life and connect 13 different people. After listening to the tapes they get passed on to the next person. As you can imagine, this is very rough on Clay, a nice kid who doesn’t understand why he’s on the tapes.
What struck me and had me pondering while reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is Jay Asher’s portrayal of rape culture. I am not sure if this is his intention, but I think Thirteen Reasons Why does an apt job. People think that they can get sexual favors from and touch Hannah without her consent because of her reputation. Or, the bit when a certain act is committed on a drunk girl and two people know, but do not step in to help. I thought the interwoven bit of Hannah being voted Best Freshman Class Ass coming up again and again to show Hannah portrayed as a body part and not treated as a person was very important. I thought Thirteen Reasons Why did a superb job of showing how objectifying someone is not a compliment and just serves to dehumanize the person.
Honestly, I think there are some mental issues and maybe illness with Hannah because plenty of people go through horrible things and do not take their lives, but I also think it is important to try to consider our actions. And yes, I know that’s really rich coming from me, but at the same time, I do think that, despite how hypocritical it might be.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is an unflinching, poignant portrayal of teen suicide and all the elements involved. Jay Asher has written a book worthy of analysis and discussion. Thirteen Reasons Why is absolutely recommended, and friends, I am kicking myself for not reading sooner, BUT at least I have FINALLY read it.
Disclosure: Purchased Copy.