Saturday 26 July 2014

REVIEW: Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

Rating: ★★★★☆

(spoiler free review)

Genre: Young-Adult, Mystery, Suicide

Teenager Hannah Baker commits suicide, supposedly randomly. However one evening Clay Jensen discovers the box of tapes that record Hannah's reasons for ending her life. 
There are 13 recordings involving 13 people who are "responsible" for Hannah's death and Clay is one of them. Clay has to listen to her voice through the night in order to understand how he is involved and to discover who he must pass the tapes onto next. Following the map she had left him, he spends the evening travelling around their town to the various places that events took place; all the events that led up to her death. 
Clay has to deal with everything he learns, about the people around him and about Hannah, and sees life totally different when completed. 

My Thoughts:
I've read some mixed reviews debating the glorification of suicide in this novel; that Hannah's reasons are petty and stupid etc. 

I disagree with this mindset. Yes, Hannah's reasons got a little annoying and if she had just talked to someone then it could've been prevented. BUT, when someone is depressed and suicidal, the tiniest of things can push them over the edge so I don't think that's a reason to hate this book. 

The format was executed brilliantly; switching from Clay to Hannah as he listened to her tapes. We discovered Hannah's reasons as Clay did and as he travelled around the town. 

I will be honest and say I thought I'd love this book more than I did. I enjoyed it and wanted to discover her reasons but I felt it lacked a shock factor or a punch. Hannah had numerous reasons as to why she killed herself, but they were all pretty small and disconnected in some way. They all added up to pushing her over the edge but by the end I just didn't feel much sympathy for Hannah. I did like her honesty and raw emotion that was portrayed on the tapes though.

I would recommend this book to young-adults. It is definitely an original and intriguing read, filled with suspense and emotion. I had no major issues with the story and enjoyed the read overall!

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