Star Rating: 5/5
Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Genre: Mental Health, Suicide, Contemporary
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.
This was my second time reading this book. I reread this along with a few other people for a readalong for charity. I just finished this a couple of hours ago and oh my gosh it’s just as amazing as I remember.
I was worried that going back to it, I would notice more things, things would annoy me or I’d feel differently, I didn’t. The writing in this book is phenomenal, the characters all seem so real, and you constantly feel for Clay even though you know that he is a reason that this girl has committed suicide. Hannah is quite a strange character, at first I thought she was being quite over-dramatic, the first tape gets you a bit like “Really, this?” but the more tapes that you read, the more that you begin to understand, the more that you realise why she did it and why she gave up. To some people, I admit, they may be quite frustrated with this book because the problems are all somewhat “small” (though no problems are small) and Hannah may come across as whiny and like I say, over-dramatic but this shows the reality of depression, that you don’t have to have some ginormous problem of abuse or debt in order to feel like the whole world is against you. And that’s one of the reasons I really loved this book.
The pace of this book is so incredibly fast, it starts with Clay sending off the tapes to the next person and then the next chapter is him receiving them, so there is no background to Hannah and her suicide or how she acted, it’s learnt through the whole book, through her tapes and Clay’s thoughts when he looks back on things which didn’t make sense at the time.
For those of you that didn’t know, you can actually listen to parts of the tapes online (the address is on the back of the book) which I thought was a really interesting touch, for obvious reasons, the whole tapes aren’t there, but it really adds a touch of realism to the story to be able to listen to her voice and how the author would have wanted her to sound like. Though, you don’t have to listen to them if you don’t want to.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone, it’s so amazing and so heartbreaking at the same time, and I guess that is what makes it so real.