Published October 18th 2007 by Razorbill (first published January 1st 2007)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.
“Hello boys and girls. Hannah Baker here. Live and in stereo. No return engagements. No encore. And this time, absolutely no requests.”
That would have been an unusual statement except that it came from a dead girl… After I read those words, I just had to stop for a moment and feel the eeriness in the sentence. The hairs on my arms stood up, not that I can blame them.
Thirteen Reasons Why Hannah Baker ended her life. It all started with one person’s act and this alone cascading like dominoes into another one, and another, and another. And all of these piled on into Hannah’s mind and emotions, and you know what I think the problem was? She didn’t let it out,..until the tapes. First of all, there are a lot of things I can say about this book. The topic- Suicide. It’s like there’s an unsaid rule that this is an untouchable topic. However, it is heartbreakingly rampant. I really don’t agree with it. Committing suicide is giving up in life and giving in and admitting that you’ve lost. Everybody has their own issues in life, everyday problems to face. It just depends on how you handle them. And if I could just talk to Hannah, I’ll tell her I know and understand her pressures and what she’s going through. But there are people who have worse problems than she did. Right? However, this book taught the readers that our actions truly affect others in more ways than one. It opened my eyes to be more careful on what I say and do. You should too.
For the technicalities of the book, I can’t find any blemish (either I’m so blinded or it’s the real truth,haha). The idea of recording it on old fashioned tapes is so original. The way it was written, alternating from Hannah and Clay, I think it was a great idea that Jay Asher wrote it this way. Clay’s reactions and actions were so genuine, I just admire him. The ending was just fit, I think. To make up for the lost of Hannah…. It was depressing and there were a lot of wasted moments. Crying is just inevitable. A real thriller. I positively and certainly believe this novel was brilliantly written. For a debut novel, you did pretty awesomely good Jay Asher! Hands down! 🙂