Brian Wade's Reviews > Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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Aug 15, 11

bookshelves: 2011, local-library, blown-away-in-a-good-way
Read from August 13 to 14, 2011

13RW is 'A Mystery, Eulogy and Ceremony' per Sherman Alexie's review. Well said, I agree. I'm not a huge YA fan, but Jay Asher's book was very cool. The writting and especially structure is captivating. The story itself blew me away.

The primary complaint from naysayers appears to be an argument against the main character Hannah's 13 Reasons for committing suicide. The 13 Reasons are unconvincing. The Reasons are not sufficient reasons to take one's life. Perhaps. But this is a rather harsh, close-minded, jaded stance to take. ** What it boils down to is: you weren't there, you don't know how it felt, so who are you to judge?

So what if the 13 Reasons aren't convincing in your opinion? Does this make 13R a bad book? Or does it just provide additional cause for discussion: Was Hannah mentally ill?, Are Readers supposed to sympathize with Hannah's decision?, [Did the author even intend for Readers to agree with Hannah's decision?!]

This argument is very much like the ignorant/negative reviews many readers assign a book whose character(s) are anything other than nice, funny or heroic. For example, "I didn't like the main character. He/She was dysfunctional and/or evil. So I didn't like the book." Are you kidding me?? Maybe you weren't supposed to like the main character! That doesn't make it a bad book.

..whatever.. I thought 13R was great. Worth 4.5 stars. In the author interview at the end of 13R Jay Asher tells us he listens to music before writting, to get into a specific mood. For 13R Asher listened to alot of Buffalo Tom and the soundtrack to the MTV television series My So Called Life. I thought this was very cool. Reading this, I was instantly trasported back to a pre-highschool/ highschool era, which made Hannah's high school story more relatable. Since 13R was just published in 2007, the young adults 13-18yrs+ who are reading 13R have probably never heard Buffalo Tom before - Asher has now introduced a new generation to a great band (and television show) that influenced many 30something yr olds. Pretty cool.

** Also, I think the photograph used on the cover of the edition I read is very cool. It fit nicely with my image of a troubled Hannah.
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