** spoiler alert **
While reading this book, I tried hard to remember how much I hated life when I was a teenager. How the dumbest thing could send me over the edge. It's hard, at 30, to read a book about a girl who complained constantly about everything - but, that's what depression is.
I tried also to be mindful of my female friends back then who went through the same sort of thing - being told they were sluts because they were attractive but wouldn't get with the popular boys & how much that messed them up.
Is this book a good book? It's okay & it brings to light a topic that needs to be talked about. Teen suicide happens & it happens a lot. Were Hannah's reasons for killing herself worth it? No, but then again, having lost a few people to suicide - you can't ever know what will send a person over the edge, which I think you can take from this book. That - you never know what is going on in someone else's life & why they are acting the way that they are - The truth is we don't really even know our best friends & seldom do we spend any time trying to get to know ourselves. This book, at least, in my opinion - If read in a HS class - will bring about a discussion that should be had. It will make kids think about their actions & how those actions affect other people. That makes this book worth reading.
I found the idea of the tapes unique & interesting, but it was one of revenge. However, again, take a suicidal teenager & have them give reasons about why they hate their life & you can be sure that those who feel that way want to have some sort of payback for what has happened to them. I know adults who act like this still.... we all want revenge for some of the horrible crap that we went through in HS. Everyone remembers particularly horrible moments from HS that they wish hadn't happened. However, I think the fact that she did that to all of those kids is really cruel - especially to the two boys who hadn't done anything to her. In real life - being blamed for someone's suicide is something that a person will never, ever, get over.
Also - I did find some of the characters to be contrived. They needed to be filled in more - fleshed in. Clay, too - seemed like he was way too good of a person to be true. Also, the fact that rape is just passed off - like, oh we should have done something, but we didn't.... seems to be implausible. I just couldn't get over that.
All in all - this book can be utilized & used to have some class discussions that need to happen. 3/5