Julianna Helms's Reviews > Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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's review
Jan 23, 2012

really liked it
Read from January 23 to 26, 2012 — I own a copy

Quick reaction: I... don't know what to think. Still deciding.
I have decided. You see, it took me to feel what Hannah felt to truly realize the authenticity and power of this story, and how it has changed me in a subtle way that I didn't even realize until now. I did not love love this book. So maybe you're wondering why I'm giving it a 5-stars, then.

And the reason is, simply, that it deserves those five shining stars. It affected me greatly and saved lives--literally. And for such a honest and raw story like that, I cannot bear to give it any less than 5-stars. Books that save lives always deserve 5-stars, at least from me.

And no, I wasn't influenced by anyone while pondering what rating to give this. This is , then, just solely my own opinion.

Actual, full review (finally): Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)

This book had me strangled like a mouse dangling by a thread. It was angry and frustrating and so real I did not even understand the actual authenticity of the novel until something similar happened to me, and I was shocked. Because at first I thought I just hated this book. At first I thought it was annoying and dramatic, but I think there are few ways I could've been more wrong.

Thirteen Reasons Why is dramatic, but not because Hannah is suffering. It is dramatic because her pains are exemplified and dissected: like a frog, an animal, just torn apart little bit by bit so we can analyze her every thought and choice. It's disturbing. Maybe that's why I was so estranged by it at first: it does not handle taboo subjects with delicateness and grace, like Forbidden, but instead is outright brutal and cutting. There are scenes where everything just floors you. Freezes you.

I think you should be a bit prepared before reading this book. I went into it blind and came out blinded. It's incredibly disconcerting because, in fact, the book is told in multiple POVs at the same time. The contrasting personalities of the two voices are so different that I felt almost an actual, physical jolt every time their dialogues changed. Clay is depressingly emotional and buried within himself; Hannah is recklessly mad and yet knows exactly what she's doing and talking about.

Really, this book was a bitter delicacy with a bitterer aftertaste. It reveals truths we are often too afraid to trample upon, and sometimes it will be hard to accept. But even with its flaws of grace and style, I was still very much attached to it, the way you might feel the need to protect a lost cat you've never seen. Thirteen Reasons Why is hard. It's not groundbreaking, and it's not tectonically-changing. Though honestly, its brutality is sometimes breathtaking and, ultimately, can be destructively revealing.
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12/14/2016 marked as: read

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Aly (Fantasy4eva) oh man, i love this. it's one of my favs, but so many people seem to have conflicted thoughts on it. review it asap! so curious ;)

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