I'm not sure why I waited so long to read this book, and let just say this book is powerful as it's one that will make you think. It will make you think about things you did to others as a teen and it will make you think about the things you do now, even the little things that can and do effect people for better or worse. Thirteen Reasons Why took me back to high school and made me think about all things that happened then. The good, the bad and everything in between. It's not just the big things that effect people, but it's the little things that we don't even think of that can change someone's life, like the story's main character Hannah points out.
This is the first book I've read by Jay Asher and what a phenomenal job he's done with Hannah's story. Not only is the book from her perspective via the tapes she has sends to those who effected her life before she killed herself telling them how they did so, but it's also told from Clay's point of view. His thoughts and feelings are played out as he wonders when he'll be mentioned on the tapes, and why. Like those before him, he wants to know what it was that he did to make Hannah do what she did. Through Clay's listening to the tapes I felt like I got to know Hannah more. Her story is heartbreaking, intense, sad and I couldn't help but want to reach out to her in so many ways.
Like Clay, I wondered how no one started to see the signs. It was so heartbreaking knowing all that Hannah endured with the vicious rumors, and lies that were going around about her and her withdrawal from everyone. It was frustrating that no one did anything to tell her she could get through this, or to say they were sorry. I wanted so badly to tell Hannah she was better than they were and she was stronger than she knew she was. This is a book I highly recommend to teenage readers and fans of YA. It will make you realize that the things we say and do, no matter how insignificant we think it is will/can have a lasting impression on people. The story also proves that it takes one person to speak up to be the support that someone else may need to change their life for the better. This is a thought provoking book with a powerful message and I highly recommend picking it up. There are some things discussed in this book that may not be suitable for all readers.