“Thirteen Reasons Why” Book Review

I hated poetry until someone showed me how to appreciate it. He told me to see poetry as a puzzle. It’s up to the reader to decipher the code, or the words, based on everything they know about life and emotions. The Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY
Author: Jay Asher
Reviewed By: Jessica B

Rating: ?/5 Stars

I have never been so unsure about my feelings towards a book. Usually, after I read the last page and close the cover, I automatically know whether I loved the book or hated the book (and I can normally tell before the book is over). With this book, however, I stayed up late to finish the last few chapters and had no idea how I felt. I knew I didn’t necessarily love the book, but I couldn’t decide if I disliked it. I will attempt to explain why I couldn’t make up my mind.

I think the main reason why I automatically didn’t hate the book was because I liked the author’s writing style and ability to create a story through the usage of cassette tapes. With the main narrator being dead, it was an interesting way to tell her story. However, I am on the fence about the plot itself. Perhaps it’s because the main topic of the book is suicide, which can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss for some. I think what made me uncomfortable was not the suicide itself, but the blaming of the suicide on others. I don’t want to step on toes or offend anyone, especially as I know that people can be to blame for hurting others and for not recognizing the signs of suicide in time to prevent it, but I felt at points that the book was a blame game. Others will have a completely different opinion I am sure, but I think the blaming on others as the reasons for her suicide didn’t sit well with my mind. Because I can’t decide how I feel towards the overall plot, I can’t give it a fair rating.

Despite being unsure about my thoughts towards the book, I do strongly believe it is one that should be read, especially by young adults. I think it brings up important discussion points on the treatment of others, especially with bullying being so prevalent in today’s society. I think discussing depression and suicide should be incorporated into classes, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Recognizing the signs of people considering suicide may prevent suicides and help others feel comfortable reaching out to others for help.

About the Book:

ThirteenReasonsWhy.jpgClay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself—a truth he never wanted to face.

About the Author:

Jay Asher got the idea for Thirteen Reasons Why at a museum. While taking an audio tour, he was struck by the eeriness of the voice in his ear—a woman who described exactly what he was looking at, but wasn’t there. Jay lives on the central coast of California. Thirteen Reasons Why is his first book. Find out more about him at http://www.discomermadids.blogspot.com

Need to talk?
1-800-SUICIDE | http://www.hopeline.com

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2 thoughts on ““Thirteen Reasons Why” Book Review

  1. “Others will have a completely different opinion I am sure, but I think the blaming on others as the reasons for her suicide didn’t sit well with my mind.” This is the issue I have with the plot of this book; it doesn’t address mental illness and portrays Hannah’s suicide as an act of vengeance toward those who have wronged her. That is a very dangerous and attractive idea to someone who is suicidal, the idea of “they’ll miss me when I’m gone” is one that many suicidal people have and I fear that this book may justify that in someone’s mind.

    I agree that depression and suicide should be discussed more, especially in the context of bullying in school, but I think this book goes about it in the wrong way. Great review and thank you for including the hotline number at the bottom!

    Like

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