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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why (edition 2007)

by Jay Asher

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6,190510655 (4)215
Title:Thirteen Reasons Why
Authors:Jay Asher
Info:Razorbill (2007), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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In moments like this I wish I was an artist, a writer who can twist words into emotions, and emotions into feelings. I wish I could accurately articulate the depth of what this book did to me after I read it, I don't know how it will come out but I will try to tell you.

I just finished the book. After I closed the cover I immediately gchatted my friend Susan who told me to read this book and we chatted for a minute. She made a point about a part in the book and I agreed and then she asked "And..." and I told her exactly "I got nothing. I am just sitting here staring slack jawed at my computer trying to decide if I should just cry and be done with it or not." and then "I probably will...I teared up at one point but I feel like I need a good cry and an ice cream sandwich."

Yes, just like that, this book reduced me to incoherence, tears, and the driving need for emotional stability that is chocolate. I also made the either very intuitive or very stupid decision to listen to a bit of the audiobook, the first tape. The audio did not have the same effect as the book, I think it may be because I am still in emotional turmoil from the actual reading.

Mr. Asher weaves a tale so compelling the emotions Clay feels as he listens gets ripped from you as you read. The tension, the love, the guilt, and the driving need to help this girl, for someone to help her, anyone. All there for Clay and each one will touch you as well. I fell in love with Clay, the exact way that Hannah did, he is the good guy, the guy that did nothing wrong yet felt like everything was his fault. I fell in love with Hannah, for the quite way she held herself together, for the little observations she made about people, for the love she held for Clay. I fell in love with them both and wished I could change the ending of their story, just so I can feel that it won't happen to someone else, to anyone else, and to possibly imagine that he helped her, that he got to her in time.

I think the most emotional point for me was when Clay listened to his part in the story. Something eased in me then, as you read you are waiting for his part, the whole time falling in love with him but hoping that he couldn't so something so horrible as contribute to a girl's suicide. It's nerve wracking and it strips you down to your soul. I think the way you feel about this book says a lot about you, what however, I don't know yet, still working that one out. I can't say I enjoyed this book, it is as enjoyable as being in a thunderstorm, you know what is coming yet you are powerless to look away from it even as it crashes around you. The beauty, the maelstrom, and the cooling rain it brings touches you but at the same time the thunder makes your nerves jump and the lightening frightens you if when it gets close.

The emotions this book evoked scared me. The subject a bit to close to home, even though I am not a teenager, nor have ever thought about suicide. I am glad I read this book and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is powerful, amazing, awing, and absolutely beautiful. ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 12, 2015 |
I don't know why I put off reading this book for so long. I kept hearing about it and kept thinking, "this isn't a book for me." I was wrong. The story revolves around a set of cassette tapes Hannah, a girl who recently committed suicide, has sent to 13 people. One of those people, Clay, is our narrator, and along with Hannah's tapes the reasons behind her decision are seen. I read Thirteen Reasons Why quickly, but not because it was an easy read. It is the opposite, but it pulls you in and holds your attention. The story matter is heart wrenching and tragic and while you may wonder if the reasons she gives justifies her suicide, that is not what is important. For her, these reasons were enough and I think this book shows a side to teen suicide that many choose to ignore: it is not always some huge devastating event that causes one to lose hope and give up on life. Sometimes it is, as Clay states, the snowball effect. A bunch of little things compounding and rolling together to cause such an effect. While reading, my heart broke for Hannah and for Clay as well. This book packs an emotional punch that will have you looking at life, and the way you treat and affect others, differently. ( )
  Kristymk18 | Nov 12, 2015 |
Ok. Apparently young teen. A teenager commits suicide & leaves behind cassette tapes naming 13 reasons why she did, which was basically because she got a bad reputation in high school and nobody helped her. I thought it was shallow. ( )
  JeanetteSkwor | Nov 10, 2015 |
See full review @ The Indigo Quill

Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher's first published book, should probably be read in every High School in America at least once. Is it the absolute best book out there tackling the topic of teenage suicide? No. And I'm sure there are others like it that I have yet to read, but until that happens, I think this could be a very useful tool in our High Schools. There are also Anti-Bullying tours and resources on the website, but I'll get to that later.

In the book, Hannah had committed suicide two weeks ago. Before she died, she recorded a series of tapes explaining 13 reasons why she did it. Each person the reasons are about has to send the tapes along to the next person. The reader enters into the story when the tapes arrive into the hands of another unlucky person whom Hannah blames for her choices, Clay Jensen.

When I was in High School, my school went through a year where we had about 5 suicides. This was really uncommon for us, so it was really shocking for our entire community. After I graduated, at least 3 more of my classmates had committed suicide. I wish we had a book like this as a required reading in English (of course, this wasn't published until a year after I graduated).The way the book was written makes it easily readable and relatable for teens. Although it's not the best developed plot I've read, I think it could keep the attention of High Schoolers of different reading levels if it was brought into the school system. It introduces the topic of teenage suicide for discussion and just may open some eyes to see that although their negative actions toward others may seem small to them, the person on the receiving end may be blowing it up 5 times bigger.

Did I feel like Hannah fully justified her reasons? Honestly, no. At first, I didn't really like her. She sounded self-centered and bratty, and like she had taken normal everyday things that people do to each other way too seriously. I had to stop and tell myself "this girl is obviously sick. There's a reason why all these things added up in her head to being so big that she felt she needed to kill herself." I was then reminded of a few articles I had read in 2012 about a teenage girl from Canada who committed suicide as a result of bullying. To her, the things her peers were saying about her and the way they treated her were maximized, and the good things in her life (including friends she spent time with often) were minimized. It was like there was a voice in her head that kept feeding her insecurities and weakening her will to live. But also, the rumors going around about her also made her a target for the boys just like in Thirteen Reasons Why. In the book, the character of Hannah mentions briefly that many other things were going on in her life, but they weren't important enough to put on the tapes. I think this can easily be identified as the things she minimized because that voice in her head was speaking too loudly for her to hear them.

I think some of the reasons could have been better ones. There are plenty of examples you can pull up in articles on the internet about different horrible ways that kids bully each other. Some of them are pretty terrible, but unfortunately are very common. Granted, this book is a few years old so it wasn't as common in 2007 for people to post YouTube videos and whatnot before committing suicide like they do now. However, I felt like the story was slightly underdeveloped and could've gone so much further than it did to bring the reality of this issue even more to readers.

I would recommend picking up this book and reading it at least once. It had a good anti-bullying message and could be used as a good introduction to suicide awareness. However, if you're a teen and you look deeper into the context, you can probably see that Hannah's decision was a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Sometimes, the feelings of hopelessness caused by peers traps people into thinking they're inadequate and unloved, and that their lives will never be anything more than what it is at that moment. But that isn't the case. I remember feeling like that sometimes, and I've been graduated for about 8 years now...and I'll tell you, none of the negative people or situations from High School have followed me. I don't even know who that girl is anymore, and I'm so glad I pushed through any bullying I experienced. ( )
  TheIndigoQuill | Nov 7, 2015 |
The overall concept of this shockingly beautiful story was very interesting and it had me hooked until the very end. It truly makes you analyze your own life and the way each action you make affects other people's lives as well as your own. Teenagers would best be able to relate and understand this book. ( )
  teddysiegel | Nov 5, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jay Asherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnstone, JoelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiseman, DebraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Sir?" she repeats. "How soon do you want it to get there?"
But if I wanted a reminder, I could’ve made copies of the tapes or saved the map. But I never want to hear those tapes again, though her voice will never leave my head. And the houses, the streets, and the high school will always be there to remind me.
I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.
I would have helped her if she’d only let me. I would have helped her because I want her to be alive.
Who am I going to see today? Besides me, eight people at this school have already listened to the tapes. Eight people, today, are waiting to see what the tapes have done to me. And over the next week or so, as the tapes move on, I’ll be doing the same to the rest of them.
''After all, how often do we get a second chance?''
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159514188X, Paperback)

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It's an unrelenting modern classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:59 -0400)

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When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.… (more)

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