Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Published October 18, 2007 by Razorbill

Genres YA, Fiction

Pages 288

Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

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. Hannah’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 his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

I feel like I hold an unpopular opinion in regards to this book. I didn’t dislike it, but it just wasn’t my favorite. It of course deals with some very important and sensitive issues, but there were just some things about the book that I wasn’t a big fan of. This book has been on my TBR forever and when they made it into a TV show (and one of the actors in the show, Montgomery, is a family friend, so everyone I know was encouraging me to watch it) I decided to read it so I could watch the TV show. I am a big advocate of mental illness awareness, which includes some of the issues in this book, so please don’t mistake any of my criticism of the book to be towards the topics in the book. I didn’t really enjoy the format of this book and found myself annoyed when Clay’s thoughts were interrupting Hannah speaking on the tapes. It also did get a bit confusing when it kept switching back and forth between the two.

I also just really never found myself connecting with the characters, Clay especially, which made the book a bit harder to read. I often find that I do not like reading from a male’s point of view (there are of course many exceptions to this, depending on the author – Colleen Hoover, Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas are examples where I love reading from a male POV). The book brings deals with many sensitive and traumatic issues that are important and I am very glad that the author wrote this book, as they are topics that need to be talked about. I just personally didn’t really like the format of the book.

3 thoughts on “Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

  1. thesarahdoughty says:

    Having watched the show without realizing it was a book to begin with (and not really understanding from the preview what “reasons” we’re involved) I watched. By the time I was clued into where everything was headed, I couldn’t stop. I connected with the characters (Hannah and Clay especially) and could relate to the responses Hannah had to certain situations and what she thought about Clay. I mourned her and the “what could have been” scenario for her and Clay. Some of the things that happened were slightly triggering to me, but what I experienced was different, and I could see how it could be disturbing for some people. I bought the book, but haven’t yet read it. I flipped through and noticed that it was sectioned off from italics (Hannah speaking) and normal (Clay). I’m not sure how this will actually translate when reading, but the show really hit me and the characters felt real.


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