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Thirteen Reasons Why

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  495,910 Ratings  ·  34,192 Reviews
Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Bakera--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 ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 2009 by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (first published October 18th 2007)
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Jessica Ralph NOO! I had severe depression, anxiety, and paranoia when I first decided to read it. I thought, like I'm sure you are right now, that by having her…moreNOO! I had severe depression, anxiety, and paranoia when I first decided to read it. I thought, like I'm sure you are right now, that by having her read it she will realize she is not the only one going through things like this. However, AND I CANNOT MAKE THIS CLEAR ENOUGH, this will in NO WAY help her. Reading about a successful suicide will only push her further to the edge and reading the book in general with its negative connotation and emphasis on depression will only make it validate her depression even more. She will also feel that help is not possible, seeing as when Hannah asked for help she did not receive any, your friend will be detoured even further from asking. If you still think it might be helpful, I agree with one of the earlier comments by a user "Em", read it together and make sure she understands that this is one of the worst possible scenarios and let her know that you are there for her at all times to talk about anything. Primarily, you should advise an adult about the situation to ensure your friends safety, depending on how far gone she is, a book will not help to bring her back from where she is at. I hope everything works out, honestly.(less)

Community Reviews

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Emily May
Aug 16, 2015 Emily May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.”

Sometimes it's hard to see why other people might dislike a book you enjoy, but with Thirteen Reasons Why, I can understand it perfectly.

It is told from the perspective of Clay, but is mostly about the life of Hannah - a girl who recently killed herself. After her death, Clay receives a set of cassette tapes on which Hannah explains the thirteen reasons why she decided to
Nina ♥
Nov 12, 2012 Nina ♥ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
WARNING: I did not like this book. If you did, and would hate it if someone (me) ranted and bitched about it, then DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW.

REVIEW: I don't know why this book is so popular. And I honestly don't know what all the rave is about. I heard so many great things about this novel, that's why I read it. While this was a good book, well written and all…the plot was just not good enough—no, the reasons leading to Hannah Baker killing herself were not believable enough for me. I mean sure, t
Jul 27, 2011 Hannah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I figured this deserved a real review.

I'm a bipolar chick. I'm a girl who has struggled with suicidal thoughts since she was nine years old at the very latest. And I just do not buy 13RW's representation of a suicidal girl. The very premise of the book is flawed to me; you don't kill yourself for REASONS, you kill yourself because there is a bug in your brain gnawing at you and sucking out any valuable thought you've ever had, and I never saw that kind of bug in Hannah. I saw a girl who killed h
I'm one of the very few people who strongly disliked Thirteen Reasons Why, so maybe I should explain to you why.

I hate Thirteen Reasons Why. And here’s why.

Most of all, it glamorises suicide.

I'm putting this at the top because I can't believe I missed it in my original review. And this is a controversial point, because most of my Goodreads friends, whose opinions I would hold up as gospel, loved this book for its realistic and harrowing portrayal of teen suicide.

This book is one big glamorous m
oh god, somebody buy this girl some perspective! oh wait, you can't because she's dead. and i, for one, am glad of it because this character would have grown up to be a rotten judgmental schoolmarmy horrorshow of an adult. just horrible.

and people love this book like cookies!

backtrack. plot: a girl kills herself. but before she goes, she makes a series of audio cassettes and mails them to an individual, with instructions to pass them along to the next person mentioned on the tapes, which are a c
Dec 16, 2011 stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE.
Recommended to stephanie by: A.
eta 2: this is also the perfect book to listen to on audiotape. usually i am annoyed with audiobooks, but i enjoyed listening to this one almost as much as reading it, because i was hearing hannah while driving in my car, much the same way clay was. still love this book and it's boldness.


eta: for everyone that thinks hannah's suicide was unbelievable, or that the reasons were just stupid and petty, take a moment and think about how what happened could have been the impetus for suicide. it's no
When I tried to structure my thoughts to write this review, I discovered that it’s actually very hard to write something about a book I liked but didn’t love. I definitely have no hard feelings towards Thirteen Reasons Why but I also don’t really have anything to rave about. Which makes me feel a little conflicted about the rating. This book will stay with me for a while, it made me think, but it also had its flaws.

I thought the novel was based on an original and great concept. We have a simulta
Aug 13, 2011 Giselle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
I absolutely loved this book. What an eye opener. In Thirteen Reasons Why we listen to audio tapes that was sent to 13 people by Hannah who committed suicide, to explain her reasons why.

First I want to mention that to all the reviewers who say that her reasons weren't "good enough" for her to kill herself, you're wrong. Everyone doesn't cope with situations the same way, and problems that may seem minimalistic to you, can send the next person into depression. We all have our own ways of working
Mar 07, 2015 Zoë rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Book 26/100 for 2015

I am so happy that I finally decided to pick up this book. I've heard nothing but hype and it is completely deserved.
Thirteen Reasons Why changed me. It made me step back from my life and realize that every action I take affects someone else, positively or negatively. I've studied the butterfly effect in school and I knew what it was as a concept but it didn't really hit me until this book.
Hannah's voice is eerie and powerful and really made this story stand out. Even knowi
Alex Dembrowsky-henry
Thirteen Reasons Why This Book Sucks:

13. Poorly Sketched Supporting Characters: Hannah, the girl who killed herself, and Clay, the boy she sent her "suicide note" tapes to, were fairly believable and well-drawn individuals. But everyone else in the story seems interchangeable, with motivations that are never made clear or seem to constantly switch to serve the purposes of the plot. I couldn't tell the difference between Courtney Crimson and Jessica and Mr. Porter, if there was one, and I couldn'
Feb 10, 2015 Kristi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
What an unbelievable book. If you haven’t read it, you should. If you're thinking about reading it do it now.

I don’t know about you, but I love getting stuff in the mail, especially getting packages. Well so does the main character of this story, Clay. But Clay would rather have not received this package.

Hannah Baker. Clay has had a crush on Hannah forever, but he never had the guts to really tell her. Now he never will. Hannah committed suicide. But before Hannah killed herself she left somethi
Nov 30, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was very engrossing and suspenseful, but in the end it just pissed me off. I don't know how to put this in more delicate terms, so if I make my case rather bluntly or insensitively, I do so only because I don't want to tiptoe around what I really feel.

Basically, I understand why some people turn to suicide as the only option out. I understand the feeling of helplessness and misery that could make a person decide that taking herself out is the only way to stop the pain. But after experi
May 06, 2009 Madeline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cait (Paper Fury)
I absolutely loathed this book. And that’s saying something , because heck knows I always have positives to say about a book and I don’t like to judge them too harshly. But this one? No. I hated it. I hated the message the author was sending. I think it was wrong and cruel. Obviously, this is just my opinion! But I will enver recommend this book.

Obviously it’s about suicide. And I feel like the message was (so wrong ) that everyone is to blame for one person’s suicide. To a certain extent
Put me
underneath God's sky and
know me
don't just see me with your eyes
Take away
this mask of flesh and bone and
See me
for my soul


Trigger Warning: Suicide

For some reason, I've been in the mood to read books with a strong topic and subject, involving something personal or something I can relate to in any way; something I can feel emotions with. Thirteen Reasons Why really wasn't it. It wasn't an emotional book. I've heard it's such a sad book that makes you cry and sob hard, but I didn't f
Thirteen Reasons Why had me hooked from the very beginning. I loved the idea of the tapes, how Hannah lived on through her tapes and how finally people would be getting some answers as to why she took her own life. I couldn’t stop reading; the story was addictive. I had to know who was the next one on the tapes and for which reason they were on that tape. How you don’t realise it, but the tiniest things can affect another human being enormously. It was definitely an interesting concept. It was n ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

I don't often write introductions to my reviews. In fact, the last time I can remember doing so was with the wonderful PUCKER by Melanie Gideon, which I read in 2006. However, THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, the debut novel from author Jay Asher, is the type of book that begs an introduction. So if you'd like to skip down to the third paragraph for the "meat" of the story, I won't hold it against you -- but you'll be missing something important.

If you have the chance to
May 04, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I liked the idea of this book more than the execution. Clay received a package in the mail with audiotapes narrated by Hannah because he is one of the thirteen reasons she committed suicide. As he wanders through town visiting the monumental spots in Hannah's life, he listens to the tapes waiting for the one that accuses him. The suspense was good. I liked Clay and applaud Asher for bringing to light the tragic subject of teen suicide, but there were things about it that bothered me:

I didn't sym
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

Hated it, hated it, hated it. DNFed at 30%.

Do you know people who are suicidal? Has anyone close to you tried to kill themselves or had someone close to them kill themselves?

My best friend growing up, her father committed suicide. I hope she never reads this book.

People who are clinically depressed, people who feel like they have no other option but to kill themselves, don't do it because of a tiny, trivial reason. They do it because there is an imbalance in their brain, or something so horri
Apr 03, 2014 Delee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, revenge, reviewed
THIRTEEN REASONS WHY is not what I expected.

I had this book on my reading list for a couple of years. When a GR friend of mine read it recently, and rated it 1-star, I thought that maaaaaaaybe she was over-reacting a little- and bumped it up on my list to see what had set her off. Now I know. *Yaaaaaay*

If I had reviewed this a couple of days ago- this would have been a scathing angry review (which is why I waited) I don't like writing scathing angry reviews- and maaaaaaaany people loved this bo
Mar 22, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This book is tricky to recommend to say the least. On the one hand, this book is packed with suspense. It presents the very "It's a Wonderful Life"-esque but worthwhile message that one person's behavior can have a ripple effect in a community, that there is no such thing as a meaningless act. It shows teens that even a person who might appear on the surface to be collected, attractive, smart, funny, and moderately popular could have real problems and could feel lonely or rejected. It shows the ...more
Sep 08, 2016 Frankie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dont-like, 2016, usa
It's books like this that I remember why I do not read YA. I thought it was a unique idea for a story but it was just shite. Awful Awful book. I hope no one suicidal or anyone that has seen the effects of suicide ever reads this.
Mar 26, 2012 Lawyer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA Readers, Teachers, Counselors
Recommended to Lawyer by: March Read Edgy YA goodreads Group
Thirteen Reasons Why,Jay Asher's Song of Suicide for Duet

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.--Robert Frost

The facts are grim, but true. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged fifteen to twenty-four. It is the fourth leading cause of death for children aged ten to fourteen. The statistics are compiled by the United States Center for Disease Control. Although contributing factor
Aaron Vincent
This is a tough one. As I write this review I am still undecided what rating I will give. I'm hoping that towards the end of this review I can already decide.

I'd give it a perfect rating if I'll just base it on the ingenious storytelling. As I was reading it, there are three stories being told. One is the story of Clay Jensen while listening to the tapes. Second, Hannah Baker's story as she narrates the consecutive events that leads her to suicide. And the last would be your own story.

It made me
Sep 12, 2009 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in quality YA
Recommended to Tatiana by: Arlene
Shelves: 2009, ya, ala-ya-2008
Jay Asher's debut novel "Thirteen Reasons Why" is certainly one of those books that give YA a good name. This is a book that stays with you for a long time.

The subject matter is definitely not easy or comfortable. This is a story of Hannah, a teenage girl who commits suicide and leaves behind a series of tapes addressed to people who she finds more or less responsible for her decision to end her life. The story is told from the point of view of Clay, Hannah's classmate and one of the people she
May 08, 2016 Britney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, young-adult
Oh. My. God. This book is one of those rare pieces of literature that touches on so many important issues and leaves you feeling both emotionally raw yet hopeful. I couldn't rave enough about this book. I loved the writing, the characters, the formatting, the pacing, EVERYTHING.

Writing: I loved how the book was written in both Hannah's voice through the tapes as she told her story and through Clay's reactions and thoughts and wanderings around his town. I could easily see this all happening. I w
My actual rating for this is 1.5. I've put off writing this review for a while because I'm slightly worried about how it's going to come across but I'm ready to write it now, my thoughts have been processed, and I'm prepared to write my opinion down.

First things first. I want to state for the record now that I do NOT think that people who commit suicide are inherently selfish. I know that people do it because there is something in them that tells them it's their only option and they don't see an
“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people."

I don't know much about suicide, but I guess that a person in that state of mind doesn't need a really strong reason to take away his/her life.

I believe that the tiniest of the possible reasons you might think about it's just enough for them, after all it all adds up to the suffering and it is not the last experience that counts, but all of them together. It can be one look, one word, one disappointment, or it ca
Val ⚓️ Shameless & Bitchy Skanky ⚓️ Steamy Reads Mrs. Danvers-Tate-Snow
Update 7/10/15: A Conversation From Yesterday...

Co-Worker: "My kid just read this book and loved it. You are a reader, right? If you haven't read it, you should read it."

Me: "What's it called."

CW: "'Thirteen Reasons' or something. It's about suicide."

Me: Hmmmm, yeah I think that sounds familiar. Hold on lemme check.
*checking GR and finding review*

CW: "You find it?"

Me: "Um, yeah."

CW: "So you like it?"

Me: "Um...sure..."



Original (pre-gif discovery)Review:

I see that this book is pretty w
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Jay Asher was born in Arcadia, California on September 30, 1975. He grew up in a family that encouraged all of his interests, from playing the guitar to his writing. He attended Cuesta College right after graduating from high school. It was here where he wrote his first two children’s books for a class called Children’s Literature Appreciation. At this point in his life, he had decided he wanted t ...more
More about Jay Asher...

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“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.” 3834 likes
“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.” 3141 likes
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