"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."
Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Release Date: October 18, 2007
Pages: 288, Hardcover
Thirteen Reasons Why is a powerful story that is must read for every teenager, whether they are being bullied or not. The voice of Hannah's character is very strong and compelling. Not only is the lesson learned extremely important, the story is told in a unique manner.
I had read this one a couple years back, so it's definitely a re-read. I remember the first time I read Thirteen Reasons Why, I really enjoyed it. The second time through, my feelings remain the same. It definitely deals with much more serious issues than I'm used to; bullying, suicide, and a some rape. But it's these types of contemporary novels that I get the most out of. Thirteen Reasons Why definitely stands out in the YA genre.
Clay Jensen, the main character who is listening to Hannah's tapes, is a very likeable boy. His struggles felt very real to me and that's what I loved. His thoughts were fathomable and I was able to connect with him surprisingly well. Although I understood Hannah's motives for recording the tapes, something in the back of my mind kept nagging at me; I felt like Hannah only recorded the tapes to make her victims feel bad. Anyone else have that thought when reading this book?
Aside from that indistinct concept, Thirteen Reasons Why leaves the reader walking away with a different mind and heart. I won't be surprised if this novel becomes required reading in the future!
Audiobook Performance: The audio was alright, pretty good. Not stellar, but definitely acceptable. Hannah's narrator felt a little old, but it was done well. It was difficult getting accustomed to Clay's voice, but in hindsight, I enjoyed it. Definitely give the audio a try, since you'll be listening to an audio tape on audio! ;)