Christina White's Reviews > Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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's review
Mar 03, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read 2 times. Last read February 19, 2012 to February 25, 2012.

This book is like one of those optical illusion pictures that are made up completely of little dots. Up close it looks like nothing, but once you step away it turns into a beautiful work of art. When I first started this book I found all Hannah's "reasons" to be petty and I honestly found her to be kind of ridiculous. I thought the book wasn't realistic and I couldn't take Hannah's emotions very serious. I felt the book lacked the depth the topic of suicide required. I continued reading. After each tape I could understand how these things could build up. The author did a fabulous job of chipping away at the reader, slowly with out us even noticing. I had put myself in Hannah's shoes and realized after a while that I did feel hopeless......and I had no idea why.

I tried to figure it out. Surely it wasn't because someone had grabbed my ass, or didn't say bye to me in the hallway..... or was it? No, that wasn't a real reason, so if there wasn't a real reason I could pin point.. then what could possibly be the solution? What can make me feel better?

Then I understood it all. And I cried.

I'm glad I stuck it out and finished this book. This is one of those reads that annoys you while your in the middle of it, but leaves a mark on you afterward.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Other Hardcover Edition)
March 3, 2011 – Shelved
February 19, 2012 – Started Reading
February 20, 2012 –
February 20, 2012 –
18.0% "Seriously??? Cry me a freakin river.. the guys at school think you have a hot ass.. and it's one of the reasons you commit suicide???? stupid.. and unbelievable"
February 21, 2012 –
25.0% "this had the potentional to be so good! What a dark story line.. but it totally missed the mark! Instead of deep it's very shallow and kind of annoying."
February 23, 2012 –
40.0% "I think the problem with this might be the audio version I have. Hanna sounds sarcastic, angry, strong and confident. So all of the reason's why she killed herself don't sound real... like little things like that could effect a person like her...."
February 24, 2012 –
75.0% "I have to admit that I got sucked in lol.. It's still not a five star read.. but it's not as bad as I first thought."
February 25, 2012 –
February 25, 2012 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 25, 2012 – Finished Reading
April 23, 2017 – Shelved (Other Hardcover Edition)

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Nan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nan It really does get better and better. As for the fact that some of her complaints seem shallow, that's part of the point.

Christina White I don't like it.. I think it's ridiculous.. almost like she is making fun of suicidal teenagers.

message 3: by Nan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nan In the afterward, Asher explains that a young woman in his family once tried to commit suicide. He asked her, later, what led to her decision. She couldn't name a single precipitating event, only a series of little things that added up to a cumulative despair.

While he does not use that young woman's experiences to write Hannah's story, the way that little things build is part of what drives her to despair. You mentioned that she didn't like the way that the boys at school commented on her ass; you didn't think that was something to get that upset about. It is a problem when Hannah realizes that all they see her as is ass. She understands what it means to be treated as a object.

Christina White The things listed are normal things every girl has to deal with. I just wish the author would have focused on her having a mental issue or something..

because it seems to me that he is taking the seriousness out of suicide..

message 5: by Nan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nan Have you finished the book? I don't want to spoil it if you haven't.

I can say this, though, without spoilage: when it comes to suicide, many times it's not about the events that lead to the decision, it's about the way a person reacts to those events. Asher is not trying to trivialize suicide--far from it. If it were always big events that led to teens taking their own lives, we'd be able to see it and stop them. But it's often not big things. It's a series of little things, an escalation, a disconnection from avenues of help, a lack of faith that the future can be better.

My husband works for a local school district. The high school has just under 1000 students. In the 2010-2011 school year, three kids committed suicide. They were not friends; in fact, they shared little other than a school and a decision to end their lives.

Christina White I think the problem may be the audio I'm listening to. Hannah sounds really sarcastic and angry and strong..almost like she has an attitude. Tons of confidence. So it almost sounds silly when she is describing all these reasons why she killed herself....

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

^ I'm rereading the book. I got the same impression from reading it. It was the same reason why I was not a fan of it the first time I read it. The second reading isn't any better imo.

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