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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why (edition 2007)

by Jay Asher

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8,571650549 (3.95)243
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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English (635)  German (5)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (651)
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Even though Thirteen Reasons Why was originally published in 2007, it’s on the Top Ten Most Challenged books in 2017 because Netflix adapted it into a series that became very popular and brought the book back into the spotlight. The series and by extension, the book, caused a lot of controversy because adults worried that it glamorized suicide and would lead to an increase in teen suicides.

Thirteen Reasons Why is about a high school girl named Hannah Baker. At the beginning of the book, it’s been just a few days since she killed herself. Clay Jensen, a boy at the same school, receives a package of cassette tapes. On them, Hannah has recorded the thirteen reasons why she decided to commit suicide. Each reason is a person who has wronged Hannah in some way. The first tape informs Clay that if he received the tapes, that means that one of them is about him. He is to listen to all of the tapes and then pass them on to the next person on the list, the list of people who have hurt Hannah. If the people on the tapes don’t pass them on as instructed, then the tapes will be released to the public and everyone will know what they’ve done.

I want to get one thing out of the way – this book is not that well written. Asher is in serious need of an editor. He uses So.Many.Words. to describe the most mundane things. It felt like he had been given a certain word count he had to reach so he was going to put in as many extra words as he could until he reached it:

“I take the package into the kitchen and set it on the counter. I slide open the junk drawer and pull out of a pair of scissors. Then I run a scissor blade around the package and lift off its top.”

Just tell us you opened the damn package Clay! Or, when Clay is looking for something to play the tapes with:

“The garage! The stereo on the workbench. My dad bought it at a yard sale for almost nothing. It’s old, so he doesn’t care if it gets coated with sawdust or splattered with paint. And best of all, it places tapes.”

For god’s sake Clay, we don’t freaking care about the history of the tape player! I wouldn’t get this upset except that the entire book had this much superfluous, excruciating detail. Luckily, the story was engaging enough that I kept reading anyway. I really wanted to find out what those thirteen people had done to Hannah.

The justification I’ve seen used to justify the banning of this book is that it will put the idea of suicide into teenager’s heads. That idea is already there. I think that if your child is reading this book or watching the TV series, it’s important to talk with them about it. Read the book yourself. Watch the show with your kids. Keep your eye out for warning signs that something is wrong. Instead of banning a book outright, parents should make the choice for their own children, not everyone else’s.

I can’t end this review without mentioning that Asher was expelled from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators last year after they investigated allegations of sexual harassment that had been made against him. I didn’t know this until after I had already started reading the book. Luckily, I checked it out of the library so I didn’t give him any of my money. ( )
  mcelhra | Sep 30, 2018 |
This book is about a teenage girl who took her own life. She made tapes for all the people (reasons) who she felt contributed to her depression and then death. She sends the tapes to each person so they know how they hurt her inhales they will change for the future. I thought the story itself was intriguing and captivating. I also liked that it normalizes depression, ptsd, and anxiety to help others feel more comfortable talking about their struggles. What I'm worried about is the "blame" she places on each person. Good book. I might use it for high schoolers. ( )
  MorganneLloyd | Sep 21, 2018 |
I think the writing was well done. The approach to the story was novel. I read the book because it was challenged. Those book challengers think that discussing suicide is a problem. Anything to bring suicide out in the open for discussion is helpful. Why not do it in the form of a teen novel? I liked it. Read banned books!!! ( )
  AmandaSanders | Sep 20, 2018 |
Very good book. ( )
  kkranig | Sep 4, 2018 |
I'm glad this book was written because as someone who has lost someone to suicide, it allows you into the kind of a person in that mindset. It also allows for conversations to come forward and begin not only a healing process but also to lose the stigma that is attached to it. ( )
  WormsReview | Aug 31, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 635 (next | show all)
Clay Jensen receives a package of tapes in the mail with no return address from one of his classmates Hannah baker who had killed herself two weeks before as he struggles to hear the tapes of Hannah he also follows this map that Hannah had put in his locker a week before she committed Suicide as clay travels star to star he hears the stories of people who have hurt Hannah. And drove her to kill herself you only hear the tapes if you had something to do with it so if you don't pass the tapes on they will be release to everyone clay listens to the tapes and he fails to see who he can trust person by person clay has some type of incounterment with everyone else on the tapes and trays to help Hannah out with the last tape she couldn't get around to
added by Jessalynnbanks | editNew York Times, Jessalynn banks

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jay Asherprimary authorall editionscalculated
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)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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)

(summary from another edition)

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