Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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.

 

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

 

I’ve been trying for weeks to get a review together about this book, but I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve since read 2 other books (making me 3 book reviews behind) and I desperately need to write this. So, without further ado, here’s my thoughts on Thirteen Reasons Why.

 

This books is about 288 pages of whining, forced emotion, and horrible situations.

 

I must admit, I feel horrible calling a suicidal girl whiney. It feels messed up. But, this is a fictional girl, so bear with me here. Oh, Hannah. You had such an opportunity to move all of our hearts and put into perspective that how you treat others really does matter. Instead, you decided to rattle off 13 different reasons (most that are easily avoidable if you would stop for a minute and THINK about the stupid choices you were making) why you committed suicide. I mean, some you could have avoided. DON’T go to the party. CLOSE your window. TALK to your parents. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel like you should make stupid decisions than record them and send them to the people to blame them and tell everyone how horrible they are when you also played a role in the situation. Do I believe the other people should have done what they did? Absolutely not. They were out of line. But so were you, Hannah. So were you.

 

I must add that I have never been in the situations like Hannah, so I can’t honestly say that I’ve felt her emotions or gone through what she has.

 

Clay Jensen is a very likable character when he isn’t unnatural and full of forced emotion. He is a nerdy kid who has a long-time crush on the now dead Hannah Baker. But he also made some stupid decisions, like lying to your mom and stealing from your friend.

 

The plot had SO much potential to be absolutely amazing. Seriously, this could have been phenomenal. Sadly, it just didn’t hit the mark with me. Maybe my expectations were just too high. I wasn’t looking for a fun, easy read. I was looking for an emotional, thoughtful one. So maybe it was me who was wrong about the book.

 

I honestly believe the good morals and messages were present in the book, but faintly. They were watered down with stupid decisions and unanswered questions.

 

As for the content, it did have a fair amount of profanity. Plus the reasons had a variety of tough topics, including rape, drinking, partying, groping, and the like. They weren’t heavily described at all, but they were there.

 

Overall, I now have a beautiful autographed copy of the book, but I probably won’t be reading it again for a long time. At least I am prepared for the new TV show miniseries based off the book that comes out in early 2016.

 

-Lilian-

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