Diane Ferbrache's Reviews > Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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Jan 12, 12

bookshelves: death, friendship, grief, young-adult, suicide
Read in January, 2012

Hannah's suicide shocked everyone, but what happened after was even more shocking. A box of audiotapes that Hannah made in the week before she took that final step arrives at the home of her "friends" with the instructions to listen and then pass them on to the next person on the list. The tapes contain the 13 reasons why she killed herself.

Told in the alternating voices of Hannah and Clay, we learn the events that drove Hannah to such a final solution to her problems. I could not put this book down. The teens in my school have been passing it around endlessly. The story is enthralling and heartbreaking. Although the reader knows from the beginning that Hannah will take her life by the end of the book, the slow reveal of the events leading up to that awful moment are so captivating that I didn't want to stop reading until I discovered exactly what happened.

This is not high quality literature, but it is what I love about good YA fiction. Realistic characters, real life situations, and life lessons that are not "hit you over the head" obvious. Naysayers have called the book depressing, and I guess it is, but the unfortunate truth is that teens do commit suicide. For teens, problems that adults realize will "blow over" can be overwelming and it's up to friends, family, and teachers to recognize the signs and help. Read the book and talk about it with at teen!
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