Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

I followed along with Julie and her followers to pledge to read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  I admit that I really didn’t know what the book was about (seems to be a trend), but I was happy when her readers voted it the book to read for October.

I guess I like to go into reading books without having much of an idea of what they were about.  I didn’t really read the description in depth, but I made sure to check to see if my library had it on cds so I could listen to it on my drives. Thank you Young Teen section. 🙂

Plot:

This book follows Clay Jensen as he listens to tapes recorded by Hannah Baker.  Hannah was a new student in high school and quickly fell into the “rumor mill”.  For some reason, she was thought of as an outcast and was often the brunt of cruel jokes, for no apparent reason. As mentioned, the book follows Clay as he listened to Hannah’s tapes, which she recorded before she committed suicide.  A tale of bullying, unfair punishment, teenage heartache, and lost love – this book is captivating, heart-breaking, emotional, informative, and powerful.

Main Characters:

Hannah Baker – seems to be a very sweet and innocent young lady who desperately wants to be connected to her peers and fit in at school. She struggles with many challenges that high school students face and just lets them get the best of her.  She develops into a trouble young girl who shows all the signs of suicide and desperately seeks for someone to take notice and to offer/demand help.  Her tapes explain her story of why she decided to end her life and what individuals impacted her decision.

Clay Jensen – if only he was able to act on his love for Hannah.  Clay is the kid that everyone likes in high school – he gets good grades and is nice to everyone he meets. He’s in love with Hannah, but can’t seem to get past the rumors that have circulated around the school.

Asher shows so much emotion through Clay and Hannah’s characters – it’s absolutely captivating.  You want them to realize the interest each other have in one another – yet you want to do nothing but come to Hannah’s aid.  An emotional tale…a depiction of insight into the fatal result of high school bullying.

Rating:

3.5/5 – Wasn’t my absolute favorite. However, it was incredibly captivating and information. Really made me think.  (Maybe it deserves more than a 3.5 then….)

Recommendation:

I cried while listening to this book.  I found myself thinking back to my high school days – thinking about the people that maybe could have been in Hannah’s shoes, and thinking about unkind words I have spoken to people.  The stories this one girl went through are incredible and  it’s amazing she put up a fight for so long.

It really made me think about the warning signs of suicide and why they aren’t recognized more often.  It was awful to listen to this young girl be abused, tormented, and taken advantage of from her peers.  It made me wonder how often this actually goes on. And it made me sad.

While I expressed that it wasn’t my absolute favorite, I would listen to it again – I bet I would catch something I hadn’t before.

This book would be a really good read for teens and parents of teenagers. This book really makes you think.

Book Information:

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill; 1st edition (October 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595141715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595141712
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1 inches
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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

  1. I also read it along with you, but I did not write a review, because I don’t know how to do that haha… I agree that I liked it and found it very thought provoking!

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