Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Publishing Date: Oct 18, 2007
Format: paperback, won
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.
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.
I won a copy of this book in a giveaway hosted by Sanna @ Fanciful Fictions.
I really loved reading this book. I thought the author did such a wonderful job with this touchy subject. So many people are afraid to talk about suicide. Like, if we don't talk about it, it doesn't happen. But in reality, it happens all the time. Since I graduated high school in 2007, there have been 8 suicides of students and teachers from my school. Two teachers and six students. I don't know what's going on there, but something needs to be done. I know so many schools are trying to stop bullying, but as this book will show you, its not always obvious that bullying is taking place.
Hannah was a student that never really fit in, but coasted through school, wanting it to be over. However, events that occurred at school and outside of school led her to take her own life. In these thirteen tapes, we find out what happened that led to this outcome. Hannah readily admits that she was the one to decide to take her life; no one else forced her to. But these events she describes explains why she did it.
What I liked about this book is that it explains that there wasn't one particular thing that happened which led to her suicide. It was so many different little things that most people would think you could just brush off. But when these little things keep happening to you, it creates a snowball effect, as described in the book. I feel that when many people think about suicide and why someone did it, they want to know the one reason it happened. When in reality, there isn't usually one answer; its usually a compilation of little things, and even the smallest thing, like not noticing a haircut, or using someone for a ride, can set a person down a dangerous spiral towards suicide.
I also really loved that it was narrated by both Hannah and Clay. We heard what led Hannah to her suicide, and throughout her tapes, we hear Clay's reactions. It becomes incredibly clear that Clay really liked Hannah and is pained by her loss. He tends to blame himself for not noticing signs of potential suicide. But unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20, and when you're in the moment, a lot of people don't notice the 'signs.' I really liked his character and thought he and Hannah were both well-rounded and intriguing characters to the story.