Author: Jay Asher
Where I got it: ODLC (the e-book library)
One sentence: Clay Jensen finds cassette tapes recorded by his classmate and crush, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide weeks earlier, and he discovers that he is part of the thirteen reasons why she killed herself.
Themes: Suicide, guilt, lies, truth, judgment, teenage angst
Main character: I really loved Clay. He seemed down-to-earth, and though he is touted in school as the “perfect guy”, I found that his character was much more multi-faceted than that. His emotions were easy to connect with and believable.
Secondary characters: As much as I liked Clay’s character, it was the character of Hannah that really struck me and raised such mixed feelings. As much as I dislike the idea of suicide and have negative emotions toward someone who would put themselves and their family through such a painful experience, I found that I didn’t hate Hannah. I understood and connected with her, even if I didn’t agree with her ideas, and that really made her decisions and actions hit home for me.
Writing style: The alternating narration between the cassette tape playing and what Clay is doing at the same time threw me for a loop at first, but I grew to really appreciate the parallels between Clay and Hannah and their unique emotions
Plot: The plot truly intrigued me from the beginning, the idea of receiving cassette tapes from a girl who had just committed suicide. I thought it was suspenseful, emotional and kept me thoroughly entertained as there were few dull moments.
Best scene: The thirteenth reason kept me on the edge of my seat, especially using a twist on what we had come to expect.
Positives: Characters, entertaining and suspenseful plot, writing
Negatives: There were some ideas that Hannah held that I didn’t agree with, but they really worked to characterize her, so I suppose that this negative is almost a positive.
Ending: Loved it. It drew everything to a close in a bittersweet moment that had me jumping.
Verdict: A fascinating and heart-wrenching read that reverberates in the reader.
Rating: 9.0 / 10