Sunday, March 30, 2014
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - Book Review
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.
With all the hype over this book, I had pretty high expectations and I felt a little let down. I thought the concept was interesting. Thirteen people in some way contributed to the reason Hannah committed suicide. Instead of a suicide note, Hannah gives the reasons on a series of cassette tapes that are to be passed from one person to the next on her list of those she holds responsible. If they don't pass it along, a second set of tapes that someone else is holding will be played for everyone to hear.
The book was told through Clay's perspective who is on Hannah's list and is currently listening to the tapes. The whole story would have been more compelling and impactful if told from the person who holds the second set of tapes.
There's no urgency in the book. You know Hannah commits suicide, so her story is over. There's no saving Hannah. Some of the reasons she had people on her list were just ridiculous and was irritating that it contributed to the decision to end her life. Is this supposed to be a warning that people should watch what they say all the time? I didn't get it.
Overall, I rate Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, 3 stars. It was written well in that it does grab your attention, so I'd like to read something else by Jay Asher. This book just didn't hold up to the hype.