Girls*Heart* Books: 'Thirteen Reasons Why' by Jay Asher: Review

Sunday, August 19, 2012

'Thirteen Reasons Why' by Jay Asher: Review

Thirteen Reasons Why
By:Jay Asher
Published By: Razorbill
Publication Date: October 18, 2007

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. (from Goodreads)

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is one of those books that I have been meaning to pick up and read for what feels like forever. When I found it at my favorite used book store a  month ago, I instantly snatched it up.  While I can't say I exactly 'enjoyed' it, I am glad I finally read this book. This book broke my heart but I had to finish it, to find out what it was that pushed Hannah into feeling like suicide was the only answer for her.

With a dual narrative, this tale unfolds in a very unique way. We see the story through the eyes of Clay, one of the recipients of Hannah's tapes, and we hear Hannah's reasons as he does. The book spans the course of a day and I was completely sucked in from the beginning. It's extremely well written, though it is definitely different from anything else I've ever read. 

I can say for sure that I will never forget this book, it has sunk it's teeth into my heart and I'll be contemplating it for some time. The message in the pages is an important one and I think as hard as it is to read this girl's goodbye to a world that seemed determined to keep her down, you simply HAVE to read it. All teens should be made to read this book. Asher has touched on a difficult, but all too common issue that needs to be addressed. 

Well written, thought provoking and emotional, this book will keep you riveted from beginning to end. Even though you know Hannah's ending, there are still a few surprises mixed in that will leave you feeling hollow and aching, but hopeful.  Kudos to Jay Asher, this book is a must read.
My Rating:

Jay Asher was born in Arcadia, California on September 30, 1975. He grew up in a family that encouraged all of his interests, from playing the guitar to his writing. He attended Cuesta College right after graduating from high school. It was here where he wrote his first two children’s books for a class called Children’s Literature Appreciation. At this point in his life, he had decided he wanted to become an elementary school teacher. He then transferred to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he left his senior year in order to pursue his career as a serious writer. Throughout his life he worked in various establishments, including as a salesman in a shoe store and in libraries and bookstores. Many of his work experiences had an impact on some aspect of his writing.

He has published only one book to date, Thirteen Reasons Why, which was published in October 2007. He is currently working on his second Young Adult novel, and has written several picture books and screenplays. Thirteen Reasons Why has won several awards and has received five stars from Teen Book Review. It also has received high reviews from fellow authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Chris Crutcher, and Gordon Kormon.

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  1. Thanks for the review!! Looks like something I'm gonna have to pick up!! :)

  2. Great review! I have looked at this book over and over at every bookstore I hit. For some reason it calls to me, but the subject has been a bit scary. Maybe there is a message for all of us...something I myself, really need to hear. Jay sounds fascinating and I'm eager to see what his next book is about.
    I'm definitely taking this from the wish list and moving to the tbr pile asap. Thank Lissalynn and Jay!

  3. Thanks both of you! It was hard to read, only because of the subject matter, it was exquisitely well written and I will definitely be picking up Jay's second book. :)


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