13 Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Reviewed by Amber Neville

Amazon Rating: 4.5/5

Content Warnings: Swearing, sexual harassment, sexual assault, Mention of suicide, mentions of alcoholic drinks
You can’t stop the future. 

You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
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 had watched the Netflix original series that was based off this book. Then, I started to read the book. There’s not really a plot besides the whole listening to the tapes and realizing what Hannah was thinking and feeling.
I have mixed feelings about this book. If I someone asked me if they should read it, I’d say they can if they want.
It does show a message of “little things can hurt”.  It goes deep into the mental aspect of depression/feeling suicidal, which is nice because that shows that Jay Asher researched the topic which I really appreciate, especially when authors do that.
A/N: Post came sooner than expected due to scheduling issue! Thanks for understanding!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. K. Cushing says:

    See, I think everyone perceives the books they read a little differently due to the fact that we’ve all had different experiences in our lives. Talking to my roommates, I have one who hated 13 Reasons Why and another who liked it a lot. I personally loved the book. I feel like he really captured what Hannah was going through. That feeling of helplessness when you’re watching your life spiral out of control and not knowing what to do about it. He also put in an underlying message about how if you are in Hannah’s position, you need to have open communication with people. Hannah hinted at it to her teachers, counselor, and classmates, but she could have tried to be less subtle. This also goes for the people Hannah tried to reach out to. If they had had more open communication (especially Clay) things might have turned out differently. As far as the Netflix series goes, I’ve heard from a few people that they wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who has been suicidal due to the fact that it tends to romanticize suicide and sends a message that if someone pisses you off, you should just write them a note about it, which isn’t what the book was trying to portray at all.

  2. Lisa Lowell says:

    Also, if you are too young to truly understand some of the themes, this book can be too much. I found it only fed the ‘I’m miserable and looking for a way out’ and never helped look for solutions. That can be dangerous because some readers are willing to only look at the negative in their life and this will encourage that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *