Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) Jay Asher

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  • Publisher: RAZORBILL
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 208mm x 26mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 30 July 2009
  • ISBN 10: 1595143270
  • ISBN 13: 9781595143273
  • Sales rank: 1,215

Product description

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.

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Author information

Jay Asher is the author of the young adult novels The Future Of Us and Thirteen Reasons Why. Thirteen Reasons Why, his first novel, was published in hardcover in October 2007, going on to spend 65 weeks on the New York Times children's hardcover bestseller list, with foreign rights into 31 countries and 750,000 copies currently in print in the US alone. Visit his blog at www.jayasher.blogspot.com and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jayasherguy.

Customer reviews

By Agnes berliner 15 May 2014 3

The book is really really well written, the language is good and so on... But i find the book to be... Uhm... Stupid, Clara had absolutely no reason to commit suicide, and i get very very annoyed, because my older brother took his own life... He had reasons i understand his actions... I do not understand Hannahs?
Sooo, three stars, but only for the language, and how much i fell in lov with Clay.

By Sarah 24 Sep 2013 4

I quite enjoyed reading this book. It, in a sense, 'woke me up' to the effects our everyday actions have in everyone's lives. And how, when people take their own lives, it affects a whole community.

Some people say that it's 'gross' or 'inappropriate'. We read this book in school for a study, because our fabulous teacher thought it would be a good piece to read, not just because of how it's written, but because of the insights. Sure, there are a few sexual references, but to be honest, half of the shows on TV are worse. And those sort of things *do* happen to teenagers. And much worse. If you can't deal with that, then just don't read these kinds of books. It's simple.

Truth be told, it really got me thinking. And I would recommend it to any teenager.

Because things like that happen every single day, and we can prevent it.

Great book.

By MisteryCat 25 Mar 2013 1

Ok I know what I'm about to say will seem harsh compared to the other reviews but this is how I felt and I think people should be warned.

It is perverted and disgusting, I only read 70 pages and was left feeling violated and sick in side. I DO NOT think it deserves the credit it gets, one of the reviews say something about being a great book for "reluctant teens" but if I didn't like to read and my parents gave me this to read, I would never want to read again. The point is it has a lot of innapropriate content, and it was not enjoyable. I felt sickened all over inside. I would skip this book.

I mean I know that these things happen in real life, but I read for fun and enjoyment, not to be reminded of all the sick, twisted things you see on the news every night.

By Judith 17 Nov 2012 3

Review can be found on www.paperiot.com

I thought Thirteen Reasons Why was based on an original and contemporary concept. It's good to realize that the littlest thing can cause a ripple effect that changes your entire life. And not just your own, but others' too. Suicide is a tough issue to discuss, but it's also something that's important to think about.

Jay Asher discusses suicide via Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide and has send out tapes to her 'thirteen reasons why', the people that caused her to end her own life. The book is written in an unusual way, which I loved. There are no real chapters. Instead, the book consists of thirteen cassette tapes, alternating between Clay listening to and thinking about Hannah's story (I loved the 'play' and 'pause' buttons!). There's a simultaneous narration: we hear Hannah's thoughts through the tapes she recorded, and we see how Clay reacts to that. However, I sometimes found it difficult to distinguish their voices. I tend to read quickly, and the sentences (some in bold, some in italic) kept blurring together to this one story. I had to keep rereading passages to know who said what, which was a bit annoying after a while. I think this book is probably enjoyed best in an audiobook format.

I loved the concept of the book more than the execution of it. I expected this story to make me sad and touch me deeply, because of the heaviness of the subjects (a life ending too soon, missing the opportunities to help someone, guilt, grief, loss). Unfortunately, that was not the case.

I didn't think the characters lived up to the expectations I had of them. While Clay was a sweet guy, as a character he was rather flat. He was almost too nice to be true, where I like characters better when they're flawed. I can't compare myself with someone who's perfect. Every other character, except Hannah, felt a bit forced to me.

But despite the fact that I wasn't really emotionally invested, I just HAD to know what drove Hannah over the edge. It was what kept me going the entire time. I've read a lot of reviews where people thought her reasons to commit suicide were shallow, but I don't agree. They were her reasons after all. And who are you, as a reader, as an outsider, to say that they're not enough. The reason of the book was not to judge Hannah, but to make you think of the effect of everything you do, as small or as big as the consequences may be.

For Hannah, as she suffered from depression, they were a mix. But every small thing added up to one another, which caused her to fall apart. Hannah's character was very well written. Where I was rather annoyed with her at the beginning of the story (I thought she was selfish and bitchy - talk about being judgmental!), I've grown to understand her and feel truly sorry for her.
And I'm glad that Asher didn't portray Hannah as a victim. She had her flaws, made wrong decisions, and just decided to give up on herself. Though I'm not sure it's fair how Hannah makes everyone else a victim. Do they deserve to live with the guilt of being responsible for Hannah's death?

I also felt that by giving Hannah thirteen reasons, Asher stretched it out a bit too much. I found it difficult to understand why Hannah went to such lengths to record her tapes. There were certainly terrible things that were done to her, yes, and they added up from the very first story. But some of the reasons (and especially the last one) felt forced, like it was the goal and not the product of Hannah's despair to have thirteen reasons. Another thing that I felt was forced was the map. Yes, it's a nice way to let Clay wander around the town with some sort of purpose, but I don't think it added up to the story.

All in all, it's a good book. It carries a strong message that our behaviors, no matter how small or big, have an effect on the feelings of others. As Hannah tells us:

"I guess that's the point of it all. No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Often we have no clue."

By Daisya 13 Jan 2012 5

This book really makes you think about why teenagers commit suicide everyday. I am 15 years old and I get bullied but I have never thought about what could could happen if I committed suicide and I don't plan to.

Review quote

“Everything affects everything,” declares Hannah Baker, who killed herself two weeks ago. After her death, Clay Jensen—who had a crush on Hannah—finds seven cassette tapes in a brown paper package on his doorstep. Listening to the tapes, Hannah chronicles her downward spiral and the 13 people who led her to make this horrific choice. Evincing the subtle—and not so subtle—cruelties of teen life, from rumors, to reputations, to rape, Hannah explains to her listeners that, “in the end, everything matters.” Most of the novel quite literally takes place in Clay’s head, as he listens to Hannah’s voice pounding in his ears through his headphones, creating a very intimate feel for the reader as Hannah explains herself. Her pain is gut-wrenchingly palpable, and the reader is thrust face-first into a world where everything is related, an intricate yet brutal tapestry of events, people and places. Asher has created an entrancing character study and a riveting look into the psyche of someone who would make this unfortunate choice. A brilliant and mesmerizing debut from a gifted new author.—Kirkus, starred review