August 3, 2010

REVIEW! Thirteen Reasons Why.

Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay Asher


Clay Jensen’s first love records her last words.

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 explains that there are thirteen reasons 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 first-hand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself – a truth he never wanted to face.

My rating: 4 stars.


Thirteen Reasons Why is both a compelling and thoughtful novel. The plot is unique and the use of cassette/recorder symbols (play, pause, stop, etc.) is original and engaging. It’s a book that causes readers to reflect on their own decisions and relationships with others, which is refreshing when so many books in the YA (Young Adult) genre are focusing more on providing pure entertainment than being thought-provoking.

However, as much as I enjoyed reading this book, I felt that the diction was lacking. While Hannah’s voice remains believable, Clay’s does not – first he’s boring and predictable, then later caring and likeable. It’s nice to read a story from a male’s point of view, but Thirteen Reasons Why would’ve been nicer if Clay’s voice and point of view were more distinguished.

Nevertheless it's worth re-reading. Asher’s novel is a great break from YA romances.

1 comment:

  1. I thought that this book got the message across very well, and in a real situation. I also enjoyed how this book really made me think. It did get quite intense at times though.


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