Sunday, April 29, 2012

13 Reasons Why Review

In Thirteen Reason's Why, Hannah has sent a set of tapes to the people who touched her life in her high school. The series of tapes reveal her thoughts as she makes the decision to commit suicide. She feels alone and betrayed by some of her classmates, used and forgotten by others. The series of tapes sets the tone for this book along with a narrative from Clay, who is the 7th person to receive these taped messages from Hannah. Clay doesn't understand how he could be involved in Hannah's death, but is compelled to listen not only because of threats from his dead friend, but also to discover more about her life, retracing her pain, anger, and hurt.

This was a very painful book to read. Your heart will break as you feel everything from pain, anger, relief, and sympathy. There were many times in the book I was angry with Hannah, for her actions as well as the others involved. The characters were a very sincere representation of teenage classmates who are often self-centered and can be cruel.

The story is told in a unique way, with transcribed audio of Hannah's tapes plus Clay's first person point of view as he listens, reacts, reflects, and remembers. Author Jay Asher provided many unique characters in this style which also forces readers (much like the listeners on Hannah's tapes) to continue with the story to discover more and more truths. In this way Asher has created a very active reading experience.

Not all readers will enjoy the experience of reading this book. In fact, I don't know that I 'enjoyed' it per say. I did share experiences with the characters in a deep and meaningful way. The book was a unique look into the lives of teens, their thoughts, and their experiences. I sincerely don't regret reading this book either. I can think of many of my teen students to recommend this book. It is thought provoking and real. Recommended to teen readers, teachers, school staff, parents, and YA readers.


  1. A very challenging book for sure - but such a needed read for young people (and the adults who care for them)

  2. I was just talking about this in another post. I commented that it was very difficult to see why Hannah would kill herself. For me though, that was part of the point. I can't see any reason for a teen to kill themselves. Furthermore, as teachers or parents or friends or family it's important to realize that teenagers don't always have the perspective or maturity to know that things can get better, things can get worse, there are people who can help, and no one should be allowed to have such a negative impact on your life, ever.

    Thanks for the comments and for stopping by the blog.