13 Reasons Why: A Book Review


Thirteen Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Summary: 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.

{kindly taken from Goodreads}

My Thoughts: This is a powerful and emotional novel, one whose topic is not meant to be taken lightly. I didn’t know what to expect when first starting it, but it really is a good book! I think Jay Asher did an amazing job writing about suicide and giving it an honest, respectful story that can {and has!} prompted discussion. Snaps for him! :)

Hannah Baker has committed suicide. Now the question is “why?” To be quite honest, it took me a bit to get into the story. The dual narrative, with Hannah speaking on tape and then Clay in real-time, was a bit confusing at first, and it took some time for me to get accustomed to the characters and story. Once I got a few chapters in, it suddenly “switched,” and I was hooked on the story. It was engaging and interesting, and I liked seeing how all of the characters’ stories connected in some way. Some chapters were a bit confusing; I thought the details could have been made a little clearer. I also had to reread some parts just to make sure I got the POV’s correct, but besides that, I didn’t have many problems with the story aspect of the book. It is a quick read, that’s for sure, but the author did a terrific job making sure each essential character got the time/attention they and their story deserved.

The characters, for me, weren’t my favorites in the entire world. A few felt too forced into their stereotype, others didn’t add much to the story, and then there were the bunch that were actually well-developed and contributed another dimension to the book. Hannah, although I couldn’t connect with on much, definitely felt realistic in her thoughts and actions. I have read other reviews that have complained Hannah was too weak to deal with her problems, but to that I say, who are you to judge? I’m not saying that you have to relate with Hannah on a full-blown level, but I think everyone can find something in her story that they can connect with. Clay, the other MC, was interesting, but I wish as readers we could have gotten into his head some more. There were a few glimpses of his thoughts in the novel, I was just hoping for more! That may be asking a lot, but I think a big part of this story is the reactions to situations in life, and Hannah’s story obviously impacted Clay.

Overall, 13 Reasons Why was an interesting and intriguing read. It was well-done, and I personally think that every teen should read it. The message is so important, and I can’t think of a better way to get it across than in a book.

Pros: Well-developed main characters and solid plot.

Cons: The first few chapters can be hard to get into, and the supporting characters could have been improved.

Heads Up: Romance, a little language, and suicide.

Overall: I give it 4 stars {****} and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

Have a lovely day!

B :)

2 thoughts on “13 Reasons Why: A Book Review

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