Review for Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher!
Quick View Review:
Characters: **** (4/5)
Plot: ***** (5/5)
Writing Quality: ***** (5/5)
Amazon Rating: **** (4.5/5)
One day when he returns home from school, Clay Jensen discovers a mysterious box with no return address. Inside this box, he discovers 7 cassette tapes with recordings on each side, numbered 1-13. When he begins to listen to the tapes, he is shocked to find out that they contain the voice and stories of Hannah Baker, his crush who committed suicide.
Hannah explains that if you received the package, you are one of the reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of these people. If he keeps listening, he will find out why he is on Hannah’s list.
This book was eye-opening and incredible. The dual narrative (constantly switching between Hannah’s voice on the recordings and Clay’s reactions to her stories) was unique and unlike any other book I’ve read. However, I did sometimes get confused with the layout; I would think that the recording was still playing when it was in fact Clay giving his thoughts. This did not at all affect the quality of the book, though; don’t let this stop you from reading it!
The author also managed to take an extremely serious topic and turn it into a page-turner and a book full of suspense, something that I think is very difficult to accomplish.
This book also has made me look at how I treat others and think about how even the smallest actions could possibly affect or change a person’s life in a positive or negative way. It taught me that you never know someone’s entire story, and to never judge someone based on rumors or things you’ve heard about them.
One thing I do wish Jay Asher would’ve done is included more information on Hannah’s parents and how they affected her. I know that the main focus was the people on the tapes and their stories, but I feel like the parents creating distance (we did get a little information) could have been more of a focus because this was Hannah’s home life and who she went home to after a bad day at school; it could’ve been someone else she could turn to! I personally would like to know if she did try to communicate with them and how they responded, and how their response affected her decisions.
Overall, this book is amazing, and it has the power change your perspective on how you treat others. Other than not receiving a lot of information on her home life, the stories were fascinating, intriguing, and educational, and it was interesting to make the connections between them and find out how the small actions of Hannah’s schoolmates became life-changing effects that caused her to end her own life. I would definitely recommend this book to John Green fans.