Review Detail

4.6 62
Young Adult Fiction 30728
A Hard Look
Overall rating
Writing Style
Reader reviewed by Megan the Librarian

This book was wonderfully written, and the premise was intriguing -- everyone wonders why people who commit suicide decide to make such a drastic choice.  This book provides its readers with the opportunity to see into Hannah Baker's mind in the days, moments prior to her death at her own hand.  I read the book in one sitting because I could not set aside the heart-wrenching voices of Hannah and Clay, one of the thirteen people who are chosen to hear the reasons why. 

I have mixed feelings about this book however.  On one side, I feel like many people could benefit from seeing how their words and actions, no matter how seemingly insignificant at the time, affect those around them.  Maybe feeling Hannah's pain as she was affected or hearing Clay's anguish as he wishes that he could have helped her would help make people more understanding of others. 

On the other hand, this book doesn't make the statement that suicide is never the right answer.  Someone who isn't suicidal will pick up on the subtleties the author uses to make this point -- the pain of those left behind, Hannah's larger issue of depression -- but younger readers or people who toy with the idea of committing suicide could see Hannah's route as glamourous or a way to get revenge, which is not the message that anyone wants to send.

In all, it's a powerful book, one that brought me to tears.  In fact, it's one I think parents could benefit from reading with their teens.  I just have concern in the back of my mind about how some adolescents will interpret the story.

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