Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Published by Penguin Random House on August 6 2009
Genres: Young adult, realistic fiction, contemporary
You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret is to press play.
Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and first love – who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
Hannah’s voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
All through the night, Clay keeps listening – and what he discovers changes his life… forever.
I was kindly sent an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Thirteen Reasons Why was one of those books that I saw everywhere and just hadn’t gotten around to reading it, until now. And I’m happy to say that I’m glad I did, I enjoyed this a whole lot more than I was expecting too! I was hooked from the very first page and I was gripped until the very end.
Thirteen Reasons Why is a very short book and in the way it was written you can speed through it in one sitting. But despite it’s length, this books packs one hell of a punch! The story talks about numerous important topics including grief, bullying, sexual assault, rape, consent and of course suicide. It talks about these topics in a subtle yet not so subtle way, weaving them into the story effortlessly. We learn about the warning signs of suicide and how you can never truly know what a person is going through just by looking at them, as on the outside they might seem completely fine. Therefore you should never under any circumstances bully or harass someone as you don’t know the extent to which it will affect them.
Seeing all these important topics, you might assume that this book is indeed very heavy. However, I didn’t exactly feel that way. It was so fast paced and incredibly gripping, I felt like I was there listening to Hannah’s tapes along side Clay, and I was so immersed I didn’t want to press pause. Meaning that this book was unputdownable!
Usually I’m not a fan of books that contain high school drama, the gossip, rumours and teenagers getting upset over the smallest of things irritates me to no end. But despite this book being chock-full of drama, I was so engrossed in Hannah’s story that her problems didn’t seem all that small. I’m not saying this justifies what she did, but it began to make sense. I could feel the isolation that she was slowly descending into, that feeling that you’re trapped in a bubble and no one fully understands or comprehends you, but most of all, no one is bothered to help. It’s similar to a feeling that I’ve experienced before, and I could begin to relate to Hannah. When you’re a teenager these things become your whole world, your friends, the drama, the rumours. And then it all begins to blow up out of proportion, well at least in your own head it does. But although I can understand Hannah in a way, I do not, especially under these circumstances believe that suicide is the answer in these types of situations.
I thoroughly enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it after all they hype! If you’re looking for a book you can completely lose yourself in for a couple of hours and is extremely gripping and relatable I would highly recommend this book!