Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Book Review (1): Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Published: October 18, 2007
Description: 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.
Review: Ok, where to start with this book. First of all, this has been on my must read list for about 4 years now. I have wanted a copy of it forever and even put myself on the waiting list on Paperbackswap, only to be in a HUGE line of people waiting to read this book. I figured it had to be good. So, I finally got the book for my Kindle and read it. And to say I am disappointed in it is a huge understatement. I think I set myself up for failure, waiting so long to read this book and wanting it to be the best book I ever read. 1, because I love the cover, 2 because so many people have loved this book, and 3 because it sounds like an amazing read when you read the description.
I like the statement behind this book, bullying and suicide is a huge part of the world that a lot of people don't think about. Or they do think about it but don't want to act like it really happens, brush it under the rug and it's gone, right? Wrong. Hannah leaves a set of tapes on a boy named Clay's door. This is where I don't get why Clay was the one that was a huge part of the book. He is the one that inbetween each paragraph told what he was doing at that time or his feelings after hearing a certain part of the tape. Even after finishing the book I still don't know if Hannah liked Clay or not. I know that Clay had a crush on Hannah and didn't really tell her that and regrets it, and regrets not seeing any of the warming signs of her going to commit suicide.
Talking about Clay speaking inbetween each paragraph, that bothered me. I think the book would have been better if it would have been a little about each person in the book, or no one at all talking and just Hannah's tapes "playing". You don't actually "meet" the characters in the book besides Clay so it would have been better to just read Hannah's tapes and that alone I think would have been a great book. It bothered me to have to keep reading of Clay going to the locations on the map that Hannah made to go with the tapes.
It just seems there could have been so much more to this book. And why did Hannah kill herself? Was it because others were talking about her? Or was it because she knew all of these secrets from her friends at school? There are so many unanswered questions and I think if the book had been more indepth with the characters it would have been better.
Another thing that bothered me was that you didn't get to hear the reactions of the other people on the tape. What happened after everyone listened to the tape, was anyone turned in for what they had done wrong? Or was it kept a secret between the people who were given the tapes?
All around it was an ok book. It just could have been so much better I think.