Wednesday, November 28, 2012 books

Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

The author:
Except for six months in Wyoming, I've lived my entire life in California. It was during those six months in Sheridan, Wyoming that I came up with the idea for Thirteen Reasons Why. I've worked at an independent bookstore, a chain bookstore, an outlet bookstore, and two public libraries. Before those jobs, I worked at a shoe store, a trophy shop, and an airline. My very first writing award earned me a free fruit smoothie every day for a year. I've won a lot of awards since then, but that one tasted the best!

First sentences:
“Sir?” she repeats. “How soon do you want it to get there?”

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.
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
It took me quite a while to buy and read this book. I am not a huge fan of books dealing with those massive problems. It’s not that I would like to pretend everything is always fine but when I was in school we read a lot of those books and I think they scared me off that genre.

I heard so many good things about Thirteen Reasons Why from Blogger friends and when one of my students read this book and liked it I was convinced that I need to read it too. After buying it, it still took me weeks to pick it up and finally start reading it but after the first few pages I was hooked. I couldn’t believe it.

Jay Asher tells a story that deals with a difficult subject – (teenage) suicide and he does that in such an incredible way. I cannot really say what he does but the way Hannah’s story is told and interwoven with Clay’s converts this book into something special.

Thirteen Reasons Why is told from Hannah’s point of view as well as from Clay’s. One day when Clay arrives home from school he finds a box full of tapes, tapes recorded by Hannah. We as readers accompany Clay as he listens to all the tapes during one night and discovers that he is on the tapes too – he is one reason why Hannah killed herself. Through the audio tapes we also see Hannah’s side of the story and this is one element that makes this book so special.

It took me by surprise that I “enjoyed” reading this book because I was reluctant to trying it. Don’t be fooled it is not a light and quick read. It plays – really well might I add – with your emotions and takes you on a roller coaster ride. Hannah’s story is emotional, sad and unfortunately something that is part of our lives. I still cannot decide if what she did – recording those tapes and therefore, in a way, ruining 13 people’s lives – is justifiable but it certainly is a strong medium to show people how their actions affect others.

Jay Asher’s book left me thinking!

There is a whole Blog dedicated to Hannah’s story and her tapes. Check it out!

For more information about Jay Asher visit his Blog, his Facebook and Twitter pages.


  1. Thanks for sharing your review. I agree that this is a YA novel that makes you think more than others...really good way of handling a difficult subject.

  2. This book has been on my tbr list for a long time now but haven't got the time to read it yet. The plot sounds interesting so i'll give it a try soon. Great review, btw.