Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Published: October 2007 by Razorbill
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Gothic
Includes: Profanity, Suicide, Sexuality
First Lines: A shoebox-sized package is propped against the front door at an angle. Our front door has a tiny slot to shove mail through, but anything thicker than a bar of soap gets left outside.
This book was very compelling. It had a thick, interesting plot that right away caught my interest. A girl admitting all the reasons why she wants to end her life, and then passing on the tapes to each person the day before she goes through with it? So creative. Now, before you start thinking that she might sound "pitiful or whiny", let me explain.
Hannah Baker's character was so...real. By the end of the book, I completely understood her and felt for her. She went through things in life that not all teenagers experience. It was a mix of betrayal, losing friends, being used, rumors and gossip being spread about her, heartbreak, witnessing rape, and more. Even though throughout the entire novel, it was only her voice speaking through the tapes, I got to know her better than the main character, Clay.
From Page 29
Well, what did you want to hear? Because I've heard so many stories that I don't know which one is the most popular. But I do know which is the least popular. The truth. Now, the truth is the one you won't forget.
Since there were 7 tapes, with a story on each side, that meant that 13 new characters were introduced. In some way or another, most of them were connected somehow. At times it got confusing, and I'd have to skim over the previous chapters I already read, to re-read which story went with which character. Other times I just gave up trying to remember who each person was, but it didn't really affect the overall storyline.
This was a deeply powerful story, and I remember crying once or twice as I stayed up late at night reading, not able to put the book down. Even though the overall story is sad, dark, and depressing, I liked the satisfactory ending. It sounded....hopeful. I actually had to read the end of the last chapter two or three times before finally getting it in my head that the book was over. Because I didn't want it to be!
I really recommend this book to mature readers for both boys and girls. Hannah Baker's stories will hit your heart hard, and leave you breathless. This book highlights how important it is to think before you act. And some great morals and values, like the consequences of your bad actions, are put to the test. If Jay Asher has written any other books, I'm not hesitating to go check them out.