What You Need To Know:
Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Number of Pages: 352
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance,
Publication Date: 14th June, 2011
Rating: Five Stars
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hanna’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
With this, I did something that I typically hate doing. I watched the adaptation before reading the book. I know, I know. I can hear your gasps of horror. But I’m kind of glad that I did. I knew what was coming so it didn’t hurt me in the same way as it would of if I hadn’t. But I think i’m going to do a different post about the Netflix original so let’s get on with this review.
Touching, outstanding and intriguing. Those are three words that comes to mind when I think of this tale. But it understandable why so many people dislike this book because of the subject that it talks about. After all, this is a book explaining why a teenage girl decided to commit suicide and the thirteen reasons (and people) that led to this.
Now I understand that people can have a problem with this plot line because your supposed to feel sympathy towards Hannah but she can come across as being over-sensitive at times as well as, perhaps, being a bit selfish. After all, many of her well “reasons” could be things that several people have gone through at some point and have been able to get over. However when you pile all these things together that she goes through I do feel that it is slightly understandable because she is in a new place and she has been given a reputation that just isn’t her. Well, as far as we know anyway. And many people who have considered suicide might agree with me when I say this: suicide can be selfish because the person who decides to take their own life does exactly that. And to the people around them that might feel selfish but sometimes you do have to put yourself first.
Now some people have said that Hannah wasn’t realistically suicidal. I disagree with that completely. Yes, one of the thirteen things wasn’t enough to cause her to commit suicide but pile them on top of each other and it could easily destroy someone. I have suffered with metal health issues in the past and i’m still battling them today, there is no one big thing, usually, that causes someone to do something drastic. It is the building up of a hopeless feeling inside thanks to majority of factors even if you have a wonderful life otherwise.
That, in my opinion, is what this book is about. Its about taking responsibility for your actions, to stop spreading different shit and actually go up to a person. To speak to them and ask if they are alright. A kind word can save someone’s life. Take Clay as an example of this. He was always nice to Hannah until he hears that she’s a slut. That changes his whole mindset on her completely. And if he hadn’t have done that, maybe she wouldn’t have done what she did.
This book creatively showed the audience how dangerous a person’s selfish actions can be and addressed the fact that suicide should be something we talk about. Because talking is what Hannah wanted to do but people just wouldn’t take her seriously.
Book Total of 2017 – 115