Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
(Amazon / Goodereads)

Goodreads description:

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.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This novel took my breath away – I could not put it down until having finished the very last page, and I loved everything about it. First off, the format was a great idea. It was a very original way to let two distinct voices merge, and Jay Asher made it seem effortless.

Both of the main characters are raw and realistic. While I didn’t like Clay too much in the beginning (back when he felt this was all a mistake and he didn’t belong on the list), this seemed like a realistic reaction, and later on I warmed up towards him. Hannah, though, I loved from the beginning on. I liked that Jay Asher didn’t go with classic bullying as the cause for her suicide, but chose a more subtle (but nonetheless hurtful) way of constantly not being appreciated. Her problems seemed like things that could happen to anyone, but showed that if you add them all up, the do affect people greatly. I found it easy to relate to Hannah and I was drawn into the situations she described – so much so that I felt her excitement, her anger and her desperation.

What I admire most in this book is the wide range of emotions it evoked in me. It was sad, obviously, but it was also uplifting. Despite the solemn topic, I could not stop smiling after having finished the novel – the last scene had such a powerful and uplifting effect on me. The book also scared me, to some extent, as I thought I related too Hannah a bit too easily – when she described the thoughts and feelings leading up to her suicide, I felt myself go “I’ve thought that, too,” or “I’ve felt that way, too,” which surprised me as I don’t consider myself a particularly depressed person.
Most of all, though, the novel is thought-provoking. By explaining that little, unimportant things that seemed like no big deal at the time played such a big role in Hannah’s suicide, Jay Asher made me question the way I treat the people around me. He made me think twice about saying or doing something that could be considered hurtful, things I don’t usually pay attention to. I honestly cannot think of anything bad to say about this book.

This is a thought-provoking novel I think everyone should read, even though it isn’t an easy read due to the many issues it addresses. You will not forget this book, as it will make you question the way you treat people. This book could really make a difference. It is both heart-breaking and hopeful and it conveys a beautiful message.


  1. I've been wanting to read this for a long time. I don't know why.

  2. I absolutely adored this book when I first read it in high school. I've been wanting to re-read it for awhile, but I just haven't gotten around to it. You're was very thought-provoking and evoked a lot of emotions in me too!

    Stopped by from the Saturday Situation!

  3. Wow, 5 stars? I can see you liked it, too. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I read a lot of pizitiv review about this book, so can't wait :)
    Thanks for the review!!!

  4. I loved the last scene as well! It was the perfect way to end the book, and it put me at ease. It was really hard to read about the tape with Mr. Potter (can't remember if that was his name or not) on it though. Great review!

  5. Very interesting story and great review!!!

  6. This sounds like exactly the kind of novel our country needs right now. What a beautiful, heartfelt review. Thank you!

  7. I absolutely have to get my hands on that book, eveni f it means stealing it from my selfish sister. 5 stars! Yup, I have to have it. Your review and the description has me dying to find out more about Clay and Hannah.

  8. I've had this one in my bookshelf for the longest time and I still haven't gotten to reading it. Thanks for the wonderful review!:) Excited to finally get started on it


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