The Le Teen Café Review Corner: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
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.
(slight spoilers ahead)
I know, I know. I should've read this book a little earlier than I did, but I didn't have many chances to go to the bookstore. I finally went to one a week ago and picked up this book. I had heard about it and was super excited about the premise. Of the four amazing books I picked up, I read this one first. Everything about it was just so compelling. And when I read the book, I was not disappointed. Mostly.
Here are my thirteen reasons why:
Reason #1: The voice -- Although a man, Jay's got that teenage boy/girl voice down.
Reason #2: The premise -- Caught my eye as soon as I heard about it.
Reason #3: It's suspenseful -- I could literally feel my heart beating faster as I read the book.
Reason #4: It was original -- Very hard to find nowadays, Imma tell you that.
Reason #5: The execution -- The dual narration was confusing at first, but then it brings much more insight into Hannah.
Reason #6: It's relevant -- Many people say Hannah's reasons were unbelievable, but the reasons are relevant and many teens commit suicide for the same, if not, similar reasons. Dramatic? Yes. Unbelievable? No.
Reason #7: It's clever -- It's clever how every little thing adds together.
Reason #8: It's impossible to put down -- I just couldn't. I had to know what was going to happen next.
Reason #9: It makes me think -- Nowadays, many books are mindless. Not this one. There's actually a message Jay's trying to convey. (Read: Reason #12)
Reason #10: It's realistic -- Scarily so. I'm sure Hannah's reasons could relate to many people whether they're suicidal or not.
Reason #11: The pacing was perfect -- It was fast enough to keep me reading (I have a hard time with slow-paced novels). And it was slow enough for me to digest everything that was going on. With dual narration, it takes a little more time to sink everything in.
Reason #12: The message -- Everything impacts something, so think before you act.
Reason #13: The ending -- It was such a perfect ending and really shows what we, as people and teens, should do next.
Now, for the bad...
Hannah's whiny character annoyed me. Her voice and the language she used just made her seem overly dramatic like she was just joking around with the suicide (though, I guess, it could be just to scare the hecka out of the people the tapes were given to). The voice suits a teeange girl, that's for sure, but this girl committed suicide. I get that Jay wants to portray her as an outgoing girl, but when she did these tapes, she already decided on her suicide. Shouldn't we get a depressed Hannah as opposed to a bubbly, sarcastic one? Maybe we could have the bubbly, sarcastic one through Jay's memories, but in the suicide tapes, it sounds wrong. To me, she's a drama queen who committed suicide just as revenge to those who hurt her.
Also the reason Clay was on the list of thirteen reasons why? Just stupid. I mean, why not just make the main character guilty as well? I really, really hate Gary Stus.
Overall, I thought this was a good book. I didn't like the characters very much, but I enjoyed reading it. I wasn't emotionally invested in the story, but it kept me reading.
3.5/5 from me. What about you? What did you think of the book?
Image: Thirteen Reasons Why (Razorbill)