I picked up this book without knowing anything about it. I was swayed by the title “thirteen reasons why’ because my husband has a saying /motto of “seven reasons why” and I thought, hey maybe its going to be the same reasoning (It most definitely wasn’t). I also loved the cover art and the inside art sleeves. A+ for wherever designed that! (see- I still fall for the cover when picking up a book)Clay Jensen is a regular teenage kid until he comes home from school one day and finds a package left on his door stop with no return address. Upon opening the package he discovers a bunch of cassette tapes. These tapes contain a recording by Hannah Baker, a crush and classmate who just so happened to commit suicide two weeks earlier.
These tapes contain 13 reasons why Hannah Baker killed herself. Each tape side is dedicated to a person who made an impact on her decision. The catch is that every person, once listening to the tapes has to pass it on to the next person she talks about. Changing not only the view on Hannah but every person mentioned.
I loved the duality of writing. Having Clay’s thoughts appear beside what he was listening to was genius. I’m so glad Jay Asher pulled it off.
This book should be considered a required reading for teens, as it makes you think of the effects of bullying that we do not even see. It’s crazy to think that something so small (that is then turned into a rumor) can snowball into a girl wanting to kill herself. I know some people who have criticized this book saying that Hannah’s reason to kill herself was too insubstantial to be real. That’s the problem in today’s society; we don’t think that making a snarky comment on facebook about someone will matter. Little do you know that little snarky comment just may be the icing on the cake on top of all the other bullshit someone has to go through. The reason given for each of the 13, is small and trivial and from the outside is stupid. All the things she could have changed but Hannah asked for help in the best ways she knew how. And recieved help in the best way she knew how. Yes, she didn't scream it and straight out asked someone what to do if one has suicidal tendenceis, but really what teen actually does? When she tried to mention it in her class and was met with obstacles and more taunting. Even if in the writing it didn't come across as severe, you never know what is going on in the head on someone else.
In the end, I believe she made the tapes instead of just writing a suicide note, to have the people who affected her decision know why. That’s a problem with suicide you never know what was going through their head. Yes, the tapes may seem like the blame game; but I see it as being a way for Hannah to warn others that rumors have consequences- to think things through before they do snowball into something irreversible. I believe she gives the tapes to Clay because she liked him and wanted him to know why and not to wonder.
As for characters, I enjoyed Clay a lot. He was a believable teenage boy. His emotions were in tuned with what I would feel hearing the things Hannah said. Hannah also made me like her. It made me feel sorry for her, that she felt like she had no other way out. A lot of teens have been there and her story was believable as to what a teenage girl goes through with rumors. Not everyone knows how to deal with it, and unfortunately for Hannah she was one of them. He had no part in the story line, but I loved the waiter at Rosie’s. He saw this kid was having a hard time and was like, ‘dude, don’t pay, and figure your shit out’ (a bit more eloquently than that though). Just shows that some people genuinely care about one another.
***SPOLIER*** I liked how Clay wasn’t the last person in the list. He still had to pass it on and witness how other people interpreted the tapes and how their views of him changed. ***SPOLIER OVER***
I also heard it was being made into a movie as well.
This is a great YA read. 5 stars for this baby.