Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publication date: October 18th, 2007
Published by: Razorbill
Source: Purchased in a bookstore
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Favorite Quote: "You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything."

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis: 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.
Review: My Kindle battery died a couple days ago and my charger was at my boyfriend's house, so I had to put the book I was reading on hold. Bored, I decided to go through a bunch of books that I had packed up when I moved, but had never read. This book was right on top. I stopped and frowned because I remembered buying this book years ago and also remembered why I hadn't read it yet. The subject matter is... Difficult. It's raw. And it hits so close to home. I was still hesitant, but I'm somewhat of a masochist and decided that given recent circumstances, perhaps this book would help me find some closure. I was right in some ways, but I was also very, very wrong in others.
Let me start by saying that this is not an easy book to read, especially if you've had someone close to you end their life. I felt sick to my stomach at some points and felt as though I was drowning at others. I didn't enjoy reading this book, but it isn't a book that is meant to be loved. It's a book meant to convey a message and it does so beautifully. I know that people roll their eyes when others claim that a book changed their life, but this one... This one changed mine. And it will change yours, as well.
Hannah's story broke my heart because it's so completely and utterly believable. The things that Hannah went through are very real and I'm sure that everyone who has had to go through high school will recognize themselves (at least in some part) in this damaged, caustic girl who chooses to tell her story to those who have negatively effected her life and ultimately led to her decision to end it. We've all been called names. We've all been the target of a malicious rumor. And very few of us realize how our actions affect those around us. This book brings those actions starkly into the light and mercilessly forces us to examine them.
Final word: This book is necessary. Hannah's story needed to be told. As I said before, it isn't a book to love in the traditional sense. It isn't something that is light or cheerful or that has an overtly happy ending. But it is beautiful. It is gut wrenching. And it is something that I believe everyone should read at least once in their lives.

2 comments:

  1. I felt the same thing when I read this book. It left a huge impact on me just like it left one on you. Important read.

    New follower (:

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    1. It has such a powerful message!

      Thank you so much for the follow! c: You've joined me at a very hectic time, so I hope that you'll stick around!

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