Thirteen Reasons Why
By Jay Asher; Razorbill 2007
Summary: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box 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. 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.
My Review: This is an intense haunting book. It deals with teen suicide and how bullying, gossip, and indifference can affect an individual. Every little action that you do can affect someone without you realizing it. It’s sad, but true.
It was hard watching Hannah go through what she did. Watching her thoughts slip to the worse and not being able to see hope was really hard for me. I wanted to save Hannah even though I knew she was already dead. I wanted to yell at those who hurt her and convince her that life is worth living, but I couldn’t.
It really is a page turner and I could not put it down because I wanted to see how Hannah got to her point of action.
The thing that I really got out of this book is how I can be a better person and what I can do to help others. We need to watch how we treat people and watch our actions. Here is a quote from Thirteen Reasons Why that really kit me. "You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything."
I would not recommend it to children younger than 14. It is a really sensitive book and should be read by those who can handle it. A word to parents is to read it with their children and discuss the issues of suicide. I found this to be an educational book about suicide and a meaningful book about how we affect the lives of others. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to reach out to others. I truly admire this book.
Watch Out for: Rape, depression, suicide, some language, death, fighting, and underage drinking.