Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razorbill (October 18, 2007)
My Rating: 
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.

I have a couple issues with this book. Firstly, the supposed reasons Hannah has for killing herself....ridiculous. Wow, I was expecting something a bit more...deep or traumatizing. The two most affecting stories she had to tell, (and I truly HATE to say this) she really got into them herself, almost as if she knew what was going to happen. If you read it, I think you would see what I am referring to. Hannah really wasn't even likable either because of what she was doing to the people who really hadn't done anything wrong to her (Clay and Tony). As I was reading it I could definitely see that this is what a grown man felt a teenage girl would apparently kill herself over. I understand the need to warn kids about the pressures of high school and harm of bullying or creating rumors, but this particular instance was not really an enjoyable piece of writing. And like I said before, that is the reason for reading fiction books.

Secondly, the simultaneous narration of Clay and Hannah was hard to follow. I would say I read at a fairly moderate pace and since every other sentence was another narrator, I became confused quite easily and had to go back and reread to make sure I knew what was happening with each one of them. I understand the necessity for it and I can't say that it was done poorly, but it wasn't something I personally enjoyed.

I don't think this book would really help anyone in anyway if that was an underlying goal. It is just another piece of fluff in a genre that already has too much.

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