Friday, February 5, 2010

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


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.

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.

A suspenseful read that held my attention from the first page to the last.

The quickly-switching points of view between Hannah and Clay were confusing at first, but by the second chapter I'd figured out who Hannah was addressing as she spoke. (It changed with each side of the tape.) As Hannah began listing the reasons why she had committed suicide, I worried this was going to be an "everyone was mean to me so I killed myself" book. But it was much, much deeper than that. Jay Asher did a good job making the reader understand why Hannah ended her life. And he did a great job having Clay come to the realization that Hannah's suicide was a choice...and she could have chosen differently.

Jay Asher can write like a teenage boy. (Of course, since he was one.) BUT he can also write convincingly like a teenage girl. I love the fact that Clay turns out to be a good kid - and a really good friend.

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Paper Towns by John Green.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
A must-read. One of a kind.

Profanity: Mild as far as I can recall... (I tend to not notice it.)
Drugs and Alcohol: Yes, but in a context to be educational.
Sexual Content: Mature, but alluded to.
Violence: Mild.



  1. Nice review, this is not my type of genre but if I need something to read I’ll check it out. thx for your effort...

  2. Great review! Ever since I read this last Spring I have told as many teens as I could to read it. Like you said, it doesn't feel like a dark suicide book- it felt like so much more.

    What hit me the hardest (and maybe this is because I'm an adult and can look at my teen behavior a little differently) was the idea of rumors and the impact they have.

    Clay liked Hannah, a lot, and yet he was worried about Her experiences with other guys based on what he had heard from others.

    I immediately started running through every rumor I could remember in Jr. high and High school. And I knew if it was bad I believed it with out much question- everyone did.

    If it was a good rumor - then it was spun into something bad or that the subject of the rumor is "full of himself/herself"

    In Clay's case he wasn't guilty of spreading a single rumor about Hannah and yet the rumor still festered in his mind, which is just as bad.

    To say the same thing a little shorter - it makes you think and that is a component of a great book.

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic review!

  3. Thanks so much, Jeff. I appreciate you stopping by.

    And thank you, Julie, for sharing your fantastic thoughts!

  4. A very intriguing review. I shall have to look out for this book if it is a good as you say it is. Thanks so much for sharing. =)

  5. I've heard great things about this one. Great review. I'll check it out!

  6. Thanks, Keri and Alyssa. I would love to know if you liked it as much as I did!