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 wasn't sure if I would enjoy reading this because I wasn't sure how it would work but Jay Asher did an amazing job at making me care about both Hannah and Clay, and even understanding both of them. I could relate to both of them and could see why each thought the way they did. The concept of how even the littlest of things can play a huge impact on another person is very realistic. And being told how you played a part in someone's last, drastic decision? That's heartbreaking, but also realistic.
There were times that I was so enthralled with Hannah's story that I didn't even care what Clay was doing but I liked how the book was written. It was perfect for the story.
Characters: The book may be about Clay finding and listening to the tapes that hold Hannah's story and reasons why she chose suicide, but for some strange reason I loved Hannah more than Clay. She was real and her voice was morbidly funny at times. And yet, I loved Clay. I felt his pain and wanted to help save Hannah with him, even though we both knew it was too late. And the other characters that play a part in Hannah's life? I could see people I knew or have come across in my own life in them. I wanted to tell Hannah that "it will get better."
A part of me, a part that tends to take fiction way too seriously at times, hopes that the other characters help find a punishment for one character. But I won't go into details because I don't want to give any spoilers.
Pacing: No complaints whatsoever. I loved how each chapter was titled by the tape number and what side it was. I loved that each side gave a reason yet they were all interconnected. And I loved trying to guess where Clay would come into the picture. I didn't want to put the book down, the pacing and writing and story were beautiful and perfect.
Overall, I loved this book. And I especially love it because it is one of those extremely powerful books that you want to share with others. It leaves you feeling both hopeless and hopeful, just like life.www.ieatwords.com