Laura's Reviews > Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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Jun 13, 2011

liked it

I started reading "Thirteen Reasons Why" and could not put it down. I was completely intrigued with the whole premise of a girl who had committed suicide who had recorded tapes and sent them to all the people whom she blamed in her suicide. Narrated by one of the boys who receives the tapes, the reader is immediately pulled into the drama and action and, like Clay, cannot stop listening (or reading), no matter how harsh the tapes may be. This book really makes a person stop and consider exactly how their actions affect others in ways that they may never even know or realize.

I was completely drawn into Hannah's story, told through her tapes, and I felt so much for the poor girl. So many things had happened to her to completely break down her spirit that she finally felt she needed to end her life. Suicide is an issue that is very prevalent and real for high school students, which makes this book an appropriate read for high schoolers. There are a couple scenes that deal with mature sexual themes, thereby making this book more appropriate for older, mature high school students. However, it is a good book for students to explore what can drive a person to end their life and what others could have done about it.

My only complaint about this book (and why it received three stars instead of four) is that much of the story is confusing to read because it alternates from Hannah's story being narrated on the tapes to Clay's thoughts while he is listening to the tapes. Sometimes, the two are very different. Hannah will be talking about an experience that happened to her, but Clay will be thinking about when he first met her. Although Hannah's narration is written in italics, the interspersal of Clay's thoughts was still confusing and detracted from the story. I would have prefered to have read a chapter of Hannah's narration, and then a chapter of Clay's thoughts. I did get used to the back and forth exchange after awhile, but it still bothered me.

Despite my one criticism, I still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good realistic fiction story about issues that are prevalent for teens today.
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