Oh. My. Goodness. This was such a great book! Why didn’t I read it before now? Shame on me.
As you’ve probably guessed, Hannah killed herself. What you (and the other characters) don’t know is why she did it. Until the tapes arrive. The stories that she shared are heartbreaking. Hannah refers to things as “the snowball effect” and that’s exactly what happened. There is no one specific event that caused her to want to take her own life. There were a compilation of many, many things that eventually weighed down on her.
The way this story was told was very original. I loved that Clay’s thoughts intermingled with Hannah’s stories. I really felt sorry for both characters. For Hannah, it was sad that she had to endure so much alone. For Clay, it was sad that he never found the courage to speak up, which might have been enough to save Hannah. As you read the book, you can’t help but think about your own life (especially your time in high school). What if that Senior Superlative spoof list you helped pass around in math class wasn’t a joke to everyone? What if that prank you thought was so innocent destroyed someone’s final chance of happiness? What if all those times you thought you should speak up but never found the courage to do so didn’t work out in the end?
I had so many connections to this book while I read. It was almost like reliving my high school experience with every page. It’s hard to believe this was written by a debut author, because the skill and talent are amazing. I really hope to read more from Jay Asher in the future.
Thirteen Reasons Why is a beautiful way of making readers think about their actions. Everything has a consequence, whether it’s positive or negative, and you realize this through Hannah’s story.
Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
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.
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.
Short Synopsis: Hannah Baker commits suicide. A week later Clay Jensen gets a box filled with twelve casette tapes each side labeled 1-13. These tapes are Hannahs explanation and her list of blame. What these 13 people did, said or in Clays case, didnt say are Hannahs 13 Reasons Why.
History: This book came upon me in the 5th grade. I remember it pretty well actually, it was a recommendation from my ex best friend Heather. I've been reading big books since about 2nd grade. Harry Potter was all I would read from 2nd to 3rd grade and a bit into 4th. My grandma would actually check my bookbag for books and take them out if she found any because the teacher would complain that I didn't pay her any attention, only my books. Sad right? A little bit I would say. But since the day Heather read Th1rteen R3asons Why and told me that I should read it too, I fell in love.
A Little Snip:
A shoebox-sized package is propped against the front door at an angle. Our front door has a tiny slot to shove mail through, but anything thicker than a bar of soap gets left outside. A hurried scribble on the wrapping addresses the package to Clay Jensen, so I pick it up and head inside. I take the package into the kitchen and set it on the counter. I slide open the junk drawer and pull out a pair of scissors. Then I run a scissor blade around the package and lift off its top. Inside the shoebox is a rolled-up tube of bubble-wrap. I unroll that and discover seven loose audiotapes. Each tape has a dark blue dumber painted in the upper right-hand corner, possibly with nail polish. Each side has its own number. One and two on the first tape, three and four on the next, five and six, and so on. The last tape has thirteen on one side, but nothing on the back. Who would send me a shoebox full of audiotapes? No one listens to tapes anymore. Do I even have a way to play them? The garage! The stereo on the workbench. My dad bought it at a yard sale for almost nothing. It's old, so he doesn't care if it gets coated with sawdust or splattered with paint. And best of all, it plays tapes. I drag a stoll in front of the workbench, drop my backpack to the floor, then sit down. I press Eject on the player. A plastic door eases open and I slide in the first tape.
Dun Dun Dun!
Sorry, Just couldn't help myself ^_^
My Take: The first thing I noticed about this book was...wow this is deep stuff, the writer must really be a very thoughtful and amazing person. And the second thing I noticed is that this story is addictive. Maybe a one, two day read tops?
Let me just say that I LOVE Clay. I would have been all over him if I was Hannah. (but I'm not *sigh*) He was very sympathetic and true to her and I mean putting him on her tapes is harsh to me. You hear you're a reason for someone killing themself and you're supposed to be happy? I don't think so. She should have just sent him a letter saying how much she needed him and how she really liked him. Not put him on a tape with other people who ruined her life. So mean D:
Some of the stories of the people that started it all made me want to cry. Especially since on involves rape, and another one has a creepy guy who stalks girls and takes pictures of them from outside their bedroom window, and to me this book is a great example of how you're judged and not trusted because of your past. A few wrong relationships and mistakes and everyone in school thought Hannah was a whore. And that's how the snowball effect started.
"I wanted people to trust me, despite anything they'd heard. And more than that, I wanted them to know me. Not the stuff they thought they knew about me. No, the real me. I wanted them to get past the rumors. To see beyond the relationships I once had, or maybe still had but that they didn't agree with.—Hannah Baker"
Being in highschool I know exactly what it's like to be judged and torn apart for your past or through what people THINK you're like, not what they know. I'd recommend this to anyone and everyone. So if you have the chance to read it, pick it up. Who knows, it might teach you a lesson or two.
"If my love were an ocean,there would be no more land.
If my love were a desert,
you would see only sand.
If my love were a star-late at night, only light.And if my love could grow wings,I'd be soaring in flight.
—A Poem from 13 Reasons Why"
I have read this book three to four times since the fourth grade. It has several good points. The writing is amazing. Asher keeps you on your feet yet it feels like you're right there feeling everything that Hannah is feeling. I also love the plot and characters. You fall in love with some, and you hate some.
Reading Thirteen Reasons Why really makes you notice the signs in people like friends that may be facing suicidal thoughts. It puts you inside the thought process and the heart of Hannah. It also shows you how everything you do, no matter how small can dramatically effect someones life. Really made me think...this ones worth reading guys.
This book is about a young girls suicide and what led her to that point.Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his class mate who killed herself.
Listening to each of the tapes he learns about different stories of her life from her first kiss, to what made her feel so hopeless and lost.
This story was so heart wrenching and thought provoking I really think they should read it at high school!!! We always hear about children who are bullied who feel lost and get forgotten..THIS BOOK IS A PERFECT LESSON FOR TEENS, SOME THINGS CANT NOT BE TAKEN BACK.
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.
This is a book that tackles some pretty serious issues, and they are not issues most people even acknowledge until they are forced to. And for that I find this book to be very touching and eye opening. I can’t give it a higher star count because I still have some issues with it, but they are issues that make sense when you take the time to think on it. I don’t normally read contemporary fiction and the reasoning is kind of ironic. I don’t like reading about real life, it tends to be far too depressing. So why did I choose this? I can’t really say, I saw it and put it down to begin with. But after walking around the whole store I walked back and picked it up, I just had to. The concept was interesting, and it was something that seemed like it needed to be read. And read I did, I finished it at 4am the day after I bought it.
I think the writing and the style was very effective in telling this story. By having the different point of views, Hannah and Clay’s, it really gives you a kind of perspective and the characters’ voices. Hannah is telling her story and gives her reasons, and even though it seems like she’s giving most of the story…I think it’s important to realize that’s she’s not and that she’s not meant to be a perfect person. There is a lot she doesn’t say and thus we only get what she tells. Clay’s voice was kind of like mine at times, and so I connected him with the reader’s perceptive. He said things that I was thinking like the fact that I didn’t find some of excuses to be good reasons to end her life. I think that’s where it looses stars. Don’t get me wrong I understand that everyone is different, their tolerance and threshold is different and some times things can get heavy. There times during the book though that just really got on my bad side, like the whole concept of these tapes being made. It bothered me that she would go through it all just so she could tell why she committed suicide (and if you read it you’ll see why, but I’ll avoid saying why due to spoilers). It also bothered me about some of the reasons she included, some did in fact seem like she was searching for reasons or that she didn’t do more to avoid it. The way it was written does grip you though and nearly refuses to let you go. I had to read her whole story, regardless of weather or not I felt she wasn’t completely justified in all of her choices. Let me say it does NOT condone suicide, never once does it make it seem like an acceptable route.
Just because I gave this 3 stars doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of 5, and in a sense it really is but somethings bothered me and it effected my response to it. The message in this book is one that needs to be discussed, especially with high school kids who tend to take a kind of freedom with their choices. I do recommend this book but if you don’t like books with heavy topics then you should probably steer clear.
- Capable of drawing a strong reaction from the reader
- Very emotional
It took me a really long time to actually pick up this book and read it. Having dealt personally with suicide and similar issues, I just don't gravitate toward reading books that deal with them. But I did. I can't say I'm glad I did, but I can say that it was a good book. I was intrigued by the idea of a message from the grave and I kept turning the pages to see what was coming next and who would be on the tapes and why. There were little bits of mystery thrown in as names were dropped and you couldn't be sure if or where they would wind up on the tapes.
I really enjoyed the two alternating voices. I'm finding more and more that multiple POVs or narrators is something I like in novels. The writing itself was clean and expressive and I always knew who was narrating based on the tone and language.
When it comes to characters, I really liked Clay. He was a great guy, and probably my favorite part of the entire story is his reaction to the emotional journey he is on. I felt like I was experiencing the shock and sadness with him instead of just watching from the outside, and it all felt very realistic to me. His emotions and thoughts, especially about himself, just felt so raw and honest, and I could see, step by step, how the tapes were changing him, not drastically, but just elevating him to another level of understanding when it comes to other people. I also like how ultimately he did not let Hannah's decision overshadow his own life.
As for Hannah herself, I honestly could not relate very much. I did feel bad for her for the things that had happened to push her in the direction of suicide. But leaving behind the tapes seemed as selfish as the suicide, like she was rubbing it in their faces. I know part of it was to teach those who were on the tapes a lesson about how what you do to, say about, or think about another person has consequences we often can't see, but she could have done that and lived. I know someone who has personally found the body of someone who committed suicide, and though my friend probably wasn't part of why that person made that choice, my friend still obsesses over what they could have done to stop it. It still sends my friend into depression to think about it, so I can't imagine what the characters on those tapes must have had to deal with after listening to them. Maybe some of them would have blown it off, but others who seemed to be more sympathetic characters probably would have had to seek therapy at the very least.
It seemed to me like Hannah was just bored and gave up, or even in some cases, looking for reasons to kill herself. Maybe that was the point - she made the wrong decision and everyone who comes to that decision should realize there are other options - but hers was such an un-compelling story for the most part (there were bits of it that were awful, true, but usually they were the decisions Hannah made and things she could have changed/prevented). I don't mean to trivialize her issues, but as a person who lives with depression every day, I wish my depression was just blah and boredom. It would be better than the crippling agony. I never felt that Hannah was really agonized, and maybe that's just my memory because it has been a while since I read the book. But as far as the story goes, that almost makes it worse that she wasn't half-crazed and in so much emotional pain that she felt she had to end it in a spur of the moment decision. It is honestly sadder because there really was no reason for it and because she took so much time to plan it out. Everything she was going through could have just been things from her past that she got over in therapy or mistakes she could have made up for had she allowed herself a future. Again, not saying those that did those things to her had a right, because they didn't, but everyone in the story made bad choices, including Hannah, before Hannah's suicide. But instead of choosing to right her wrongs and change the way things were, she gave up. Again, probably the point.
Jay Asher really impressed me with this work. I felt like I was reading about real people instead of characters in a book (except for Hannah, who I just couldn't connect with completely) and I liked the message. People really should be more considerate of others because you never know what some one is going through and how you could affect them. Also, raising any awareness of mental health issues is something I applaud because it is not talked about enough. I liked the hopeful ending of the book as well, and it helped to sweeten the bitterness of Hannah's decision and her thirteen reasons why.
THIRTEEN REASONS WHY focuses on the set of audiotapes made by a girl named Hannah Baker right before she killed herself. There are thirteen sides to the tapes recorded. And theyre going to be heard by thirteen people. Thirteen of the reasons why Hannah ended her life.
This story is not just Hannahs; it is also Clays. Clay had a crush on Hannah for ages, watching her from afar (but not in a creepy way). And hes one of the thirteen people to receive the tapes. This book takes place mostly on the night that Clay wanders around town, visiting the places mentioned in Hannahs tapes, listening to Hannahs voice and trying to deal with what has happened. Trying to figure out why hes received these tapes, why one of the thirteen reasons belongs to him when all he ever did was try to connect with Hannah.
THIRTEEN REASONS WHY is a powerful debut from a talented new voice in YA literature. This dual narrative brings to light the reasons for Hannahs death, lets readers know her life, but also lets us get to know Clay, who is an important part of Hannahs story. This is different from most books in that the end of the story is the first thing we know. We know it will never turn out any differently. The reader knows from the start that Hannah is dead, but still we go on the agonizing journey to finding out why, along with Clay. To finding out what might have been different. This shows so well the pain of suicide for those left behindwhat could we have done? Should we have seen?and goes even further, as some of those people will actually get concrete answers to how they could have saved Hannah, and will have to live with it forever. This painfully honest story will stay in the minds of readers long after the final page. Jay Ashers brilliant first novel is a moving, highly original story, and readers will eagerly await whatever he writes next.
What an unbelievable book. If you havent read it, you should. If your thinking about reading it do it now.
I dont know about you, but I love getting stuff in the mail, especially getting packages. Well so does the main character of this story, Clay. But Clay would rather have not received this package.
Hannah Baker. Clay has had a crush on Hannah forever, but he never had the guts to really tell her. Now he never will. Hannah committed suicide. But before Hannah killed herself she left something behind. Seven cassette tapes. Seven tapes that tell the story of the thirteen people that caused Hannah to feel that she had no where to turn.
Each person has a story within the tapes and it is your responsibility after you listen to the tapes to pass it onto the next person. But what did Clay do? How could he be one of the people responsible for her suicide, he will have to listen to the tapes to find out.
This is one of the most compelling books Ive ever read. It is right up there with Picoults Nineteen Minutes. This is definitely one of those books that makes you look at the way you treat people and how fragile we are as humans. I cried, I laughed, I felt.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in people ranging in the ages 15-24. If you know someone who has talked about committing suicide, please dont take it lightly. You might be the one person they are reaching out to.