Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher

Published: October 2007
Pages: 304
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Group

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 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.

After seeing positive review after positive review of this book I finally decided to read it. Although it is not a favorite of mine the book is powerful and realistic.

As silly as this will sound, one of my favorite parts of this book was how it showed pictures of the buttons Clay pushed while he did it. This visual aid felt like I was the one who was pressing the buttons and listening to the tapes adding a whole new eerie feeling and layer of drama.

Usually books about murder (Ann Rule's in particular) and mysteries are my favorite, but this book only seemed to creep me out. Instead of finding a small amount of light during dark events, the book continued to spiral deeper and deeper. On top of all of this, Hannah seemed so calm about all of it, leaving me completely horrified.

Although this book is fiction -loosely based on several; real events- the fact that Hannah felt so helpless and was too scared to even find help makes it feel so real. After finishing the book I started thinking about as many people as I could, and trying to find similarities.

I am sad to say this book disappointed me. On the bright side, I enjoy Asher's writing style and hope to read more of his work in the future.


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