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Thirteen Reasons Why(HARDBACK EDITION) (edition 2007)

by JAY ASHER

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6,008490694 (4)213
While reading "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher, and following the story of the dead protagonist, I kept asking things like, “What is wrong with you?” Why does a girl, Hannah is her name, who is so young, pretty, and intelligent decide to take her own life? I was anxious to know, “Why?”

Growing increasingly annoyed, I kept saying, ”But, that’s normal!” as things happened to her. As I continued to grow angry with this young girl, I could not help but think, “You’d better come up with something better than this!” As irritating as her thoughts are from time to time, it’s up the the reader to understand and to grasp Hannah’s issues. Ultimately, for me, it was an internal isolation and loneliness — that feeling you get when you’re in a room full of people but you’re still lonely. It was not a case of, “Nobody will help me!” It was a case of, “Nobody wants to help me.” In her mind anyway.

This book is well written and it is one that picks up speed as it goes. You need to find out WHY? There are two “voices” moving throughout the story as you “listen” to, not only the “voice” of the dead girl telling her story, but to the thoughts of the young man, Clay, who is unwillingly graced with a set of cassette tapes where the story unfolds for him, and for us. The reader can choose to connect to either one of those voices, or both. I ended up hearing them both.

Clay had a crush on Hannah. Hannah is dead. Clay is one of the Thirteen Reasons Why. What? Why? Exactly. The plot thickens and you have to keep reading.

Cassettes? Yep. Using props to propel a story is something every writer needs. What they use, and how they use it, is part of their craft. If you think about the feather in the movie, Forest Gump, you may remember the warm feeling that washed over you at the end of the move when that feather appeared on the screen again. I know that I will never look at a cassette tape the same way again. Clever use and a perfect choice, Jay!

Jay Asher can slap me for this but I don’t care. As I was reading I felt what he wrote and I connected with his characters (even though I’m much older). Isn’t that what being a writer is all about? I give this book a grade of “A“ for pissing me off, making me laugh, and most importantly, for making me cry. I would give the book an “A+” but I still need a good reason why, Hannah!

Young adult? I would recommend this book to all parents, all teachers, all counselors, and all social workers. I don’t know that I would suggest it for students — unless it was a class project where everyone talked about it and wrote a paragraph for their teacher everyday. I would be too afraid of the hormones of my students, I think. But, that’s just me. I would love to use it as an assignment, if I were a teacher, but I would be so afraid. The author is braver than I! ( )
  HonoluluSprite | Oct 20, 2010 |
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Showing 1-25 of 478 (next | show all)
This contemporary realistic fiction book is appropriate for grade 7 and up. This would be a good book to recommend to a reluctant reader. It is engaging and many upper middle to high school age students will be able to identify with the experiences of the two main characters, Hannah and Clay. If I were still teaching leadership, I think this would be a good book to use to demonstrate the fact that action and inaction, no matter how insignificant it may seem, can have a major impact on other people's lives. It really drives home one of the quotes I used frequently while teaching leadership, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
  bflanagan | Jul 26, 2015 |
The writing in this was amazingly juvenile. Also I didn't give a damn about Hannah.
  humblewomble | Jul 14, 2015 |
Another great book by Jay Asher. I wish he'd write more! I listened to the audiobook and the voices were age-appropriate and I went through it very quickly. ( )
  DonnaPaints | Jul 10, 2015 |
This is a book about a little girl named Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and is sharing with her classmates the thirteen reasons why it happened. It tells the story of one classmate in particular who receives the package of the tapes. Through cassette tapes, she leads him through the town and shows him the hard times she was going through. This book is a life changing book, it puts bullying into such a realistic perspective.

This book shows bullying to be so real, and it shows how bullying can truly have a life changing effect on someone. Through the tapes Hannah explains how each student had a part in leading her to suicide. This book will leave you breathless, and in tears. Students will see how bullying and teasing is not a little thing.

Reading Level: 3.9
Genre: Realistic Fiction
  rdg301library | May 24, 2015 |
I had the opportunity to read this book with junior high students. It was very engaging and resulted in some great conversations with them. I liked the format of the book and how a complicated story was brought to light. ( )
  EllsbethB | May 9, 2015 |
This book is mesmerizing. I found myself unable to stop turning the pages until I was completely finished. I am a certified online counselor for a suicide prevention organization and this book helped me immensely. Problems like the one in this book need to be addressed more openly. I was especially angered by how the school counselor reacted, or should I said didn't react, to the way Hannah was feeling. Someone like that should not be allowed to hold a job in the mental health profession.

With that being said, this story opened by eyes to different viewpoints of a person who is experiencing severe depression. If it were up to me, everyone would be required to go through a suicide training (one that I took myself) known as QPR Gatekeeper Training. This type of training teaches individuals how to recognize warning signs of suicidal ideation. It teaches them how to address the situation openly and honestly and to ask the question that most people are extremely hesitant about, "Are you thinking about committing suicide?" Unfortunately the training costs money that a lot of people are unable to spend.

There are other resources that are available that are completely free. There is actually a book located on the QPR website that can be downloaded for free. That book is designed for people who are thinking about suicide and people who are interested in helping someone who they believe is thinking about suicide.

I hope that everyone who reads this book comes to a better understanding of how severe this type of situation has become, especially in teenagers. And just a reminder to anyone out there that is depressed or considering suicide, please try to find someone to talk to. There is always hope and there is always someone who is willing to listen and be there for you no matter what. Never give up. ( )
  Wonderland_Books | May 2, 2015 |
Summary: This story is about a girl, Hannah Baker who was depressed and killed herself. She made 13 tapes to be sent to different people that played a role in her committing suicide. She leaves them each explicit instructions on how they contributed to her ending her own life along with an interactive map of where they need to go while listening.

Personal connection: I read this book and then participated in a marketing group to help sell the book to other teenagers. I think all teenagers have the feeling that no one understands them and thinks about depression once in a while. This helps illustrate what people are feeling and what can happen if their feelings are not taken seriously.

Class use: Use this book to teach about depression: the warning signs, feelings and possible actions of the person having those feelings. ( )
  allisonpollack | Apr 30, 2015 |
This was a very, very good teen novel. It deals with the suicide of a female student, Hannah Baker. As the novel opens, we know that Hannah has successfully completed her suicide attempt because, prior to her death, she had made a set of tapes for selected fellow students to hear. We follow along as one student, Clay Jensen, listens to and reacts to those tapes.

I found this book quite readable and even page-turning from the very beginning. I think the subject of teen suicide, rumors, and alienation are very important ones that this novel brings to the forefront. Although I am not a big reader of teen novels, I found a lot to like in this story which highlights ways that teens might unknowingly contribute to the alienation of fellow students. There is a lot to seriously think about while and after reading this novel. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Apr 14, 2015 |
I have to start off by saying I don't know how to review this book... So many thoughts are running through my head. I'm not giving this book 3 stars because it wasn't good. The book is very well written. The reasons I give it 3 stars are below.

There are many things I could say, I'm not sure I should say them. But anyways here goes. I'll start off by saying that I do know what suicide is up close and personal. My mom killed herself when I was 21.

I didn't like the idea of the tapes. EVERYONE carries enough guilt around after the suicide of a loved one. More often than not, guilt they should not have to carry as it's not theirs to bear. You blame yourself for so much, I can't even image the real impact on people of receiving tapes of what they did making them feel guiltier.

The bottom line is that life is hard for everyone. I would hate that a teenager could pick up this book and see it as a reason to justify an act they may commit. Like saying "Well she did it for less then what I'm going through, so why can't I?" Because to me these reasons didn't justify the means. Suicide is never the answer. Maybe I'm being harsh, but I have lived through the aftermath of a suicide (and still deal with every day). It's one of the most devastating type of death you have to deal with. ( )
1 vote Marie113 | Mar 31, 2015 |
Powerful, depressing, and eye opening. A must read for teens and adults alike. Thirteen Reasons Why tells the story of a teen that has made the decision to end her life and the bacstory as to how she reached that conclusion. She records several cassettes, and on each side she elaborates on a different reason as to why her life is no longer worth living. There are thirteen reasons and thirteen people that lead her on her self-destructive path and everyone listed must listen to the tapes and see how their actions (or lack thereof) played a part. The story is told through the perspective of Clay Jensen. When he receives the tapes in the mail one day, he has no idea what they are about. But as he starts listening to them he is overcome with horror, revulsion, and sadness. He could have done soo much more, he should have seen the signs, been a better person. Clay can only imagine how the other people on the tape feel. They are all implicit in one way or another. Hannah doesn't make the tapes to needlessly inflect pain on these people, she wants them to understand that their actions and words have far greater impact then they can ever imagine. Some of them she wants exposed or hurt, but others she wants to change, to become better people. An enlightening book on suicide, depressing but heartfelt. ( )
  ecataldi | Mar 30, 2015 |
This book was amazing, my favorite aspects were the moral of the story and suspense or development provided by the author. The writing was very intriguing, as from the very beginning there is a sharp hook when you find out about a young girls suicide. Through out the story the author does a wonderful job of going back and forth between character voices. The author uses italics when the tape is playing and Hannah is speaking. I would of thought that the story would be hard to follow with Clay's thoughts interrupting Hannah's dialog, however that only makes it more interesting. The moral of the story could take a lot of avenues, from respect and reputation to love to death. Overall this book teaches many lessons with its harsh story line. For example, in one of the first tapes Hannah explains her first kiss to Justin, how it was just a simple kiss but got twisted into something much bigger than a kiss when talked about around school.
  achamb15 | Mar 23, 2015 |
I felt that this book was very easy and entertaining to read. I have mixed feelings on the quality of writing, but for a YA book it is okay.
This might be good to start out the year reading so that students go into the year with the proper motivation and awareness of the impact their actions have. ( )
  LFerda | Mar 19, 2015 |
Honestly, one of the most heart-wrenching and beautiful books I've ever read. It explores so many issues with such intelligence, and I literally could not stop reading until it was over. It tore my heart out and inspired me all at the same time.I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes to read tear-jerkers or teen issue books. ( )
  Dani.St-Onge | Mar 1, 2015 |
This is a tough read, but a good insight to how bullying affects others. Caution is advised - this book can trigger heavy emotions.
  BookinghamPalace | Feb 28, 2015 |
I must admit that I was completely invested in this story- the minute I picked it up, I couldn't think about ANYTHING else. It consumed me. Thirteen Reasons Why was like falling into another dimension. The writing was phenomenal- it was strong and emotional and raw. Asher wrote the story through cassette tapes- the nostalgic stop-play-pause button symbols were incorporated as well. This simple addition made it much more real, I could almost hear the once-familiar hum of a Walkman. While reading, I couldn't help but feel emotional. I was nervous, anxious, sad, emphatic, confused, and at times experienced moments of happiness and relief. This was such a well written novel that deals with a tough topic- but at no time did I feel like the topic of teen suicide was diminished. It was honest and raw. I also felt it was honest in that it also placed blame on all parties involved- not just her peers and the adults in her life, but on Hannah herself... and that's what a suicide is- blame cannot be placed on just one person or incident, but it is a culmination of things and people, leading to the letting go of self.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a Young Adult novel dealing with a very tough subject. I would definitely recommend that any young adult who reads this has at least one person whom they can talk to afterwords. It is a heavy topic that, in my opinion, needs a bit of processing and debriefing for the younger teen set.
There is also an interactive website dedicated to Thirteen Reasons Why with videos, reviews, an interactive map feature, and news. The site is a healthy and safe place for readers to express their reactions to the story.
( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
This book was great! It put me on a roller coaster of emotions from happy to sad to everything in between. This book was perfect. The main Characters Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker are so different but their lives are collided. Jay Asher,Thank you for my new view of the world. ( )
  r33c3 | Jan 16, 2015 |
“Looking back, I stopped writing in my notebook when I stopped wanting to know myself anymore…
If you hear a song that makes you cry and you don’t want to cry anymore, you don’t listen to that song anymore.
But you can’t get away from yourself. You can’t decide not to see yourself anymore. You can’t decide to turn off the noise in your head.”

First of all, just to make things clear, this is a book; fiction, and absolutely not meant to be used as a counseling device or guide for suicidal teens.

Hannah had thirteen reasons why she decided to commit suicide. As the new girl in school it was hard enough making new friends, then the rumors started. Slowly her high school life turned into her personal nightmare and Hannah recorded seven cassette tapes that acts as her suicide note; each story she tells explains a reason why she made her final decision.

Hannah explains through the tapes that these aren’t the only reasons, but it’s the story that connects the most people together and affected her the most. As the story moves on you’ll see a snowball effect; one persons actions leads to actions by another, then later circles around again to make the ball bigger and bigger. Hannah shows how “harmless” but hurtful pranks can start to define a student in high school and how labels are regarded higher than truth.

Clay is a typical nice guy, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a good guy. He is the main narrator of the book who had a crush on Hannah and. He receives the tapes and spends an entire afternoon and night listening to each tape from Hannah and even going to some of the places she marked on a map.

The story as a whole isn’t about Hannah and suicide. It’s more about individuals and reactions. Some of the characters’ reactions to receiving the tapes and knowing they had part in Hannah’s dead, even small, caused them to break down. Other characters that had more prominent roles in her death refused to see what they had done wrong.

The biggest issue is that the side characters fall flat. They’re not even enough personality for me to really care for them as individuals.

Overall, Thirteen Reasons Why is a good YA novel that hits tough issues. I would recommend for anyone who likes realistic YA that doesn’t dive too deep.

www.readingbifrost.com ( )
  ReadingBifrost | Jan 14, 2015 |
Very good book about suicide and why some people do it. It explains the state of mind of some people when they think they don't any other way especially teenagers. Worth the read. ( )
  dom76 | Jan 7, 2015 |
Before committing suicide, Hannah made a cassette recording of the reasons she did what she did, and sends them to each of the people she deems integral in her decision, threatening to expose their secrets if they don't listen all the way through. The story is told as one of the recipients, Clay, listens and reacts to Hannah's tapes. The story comes together toward the end with the culmination of events that pushed Hannah to her decision.

Personally, I thought the overall tone was odd for a story told by a suicidal teen- somewhat biting and cocky, and very rationally explained. Does bring up important issues for teens to discuss, though I was unimpressed with the execution.

AR level: 3.9 MG+
Lexile: 550
Recommended for: High school ( )
  liblb | Dec 25, 2014 |
A novel that echoes its meaning into your life forever. Beautiful. ( )
  Tannaii | Dec 19, 2014 |
I thought this book was an easy read. It was just what I was looking for...to get lost in a book for a few hours. It makes me look back at my high school days differently. You feel emotions towards and for the characters in the book. ( )
  madeofslate | Dec 1, 2014 |
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 21, 2014 |
This book has been praised so much that I was convinced that I was reading a different book. What in the blue hell is this monstrosity? This is a book about teen suicide; it's meant to hit home, rethink your life choices and decisions and agree to treat people better. Thirteen Reasons Why just strikes me as a book about a teen who decides to kill herself out of revenge for reasons that are extremely petty.
Clay Jensen is delivered a box of cassette tapes to play by recently-deceased Hannah Baker. She committed suicide. These tapes are about the thirteen people who ���drove��� her to commit suicide. As someone who struggles with suicidal thoughts, I'm fucking offended at the piss-poor reasoning Hannah Baker has. These are no more than insignificant slights against her.

One of Hannah's reasons for killing herself is that someone touched her thigh. Touched her thigh. There was no stiffening of her body in fear, no standing up and causing a scene, no telling him to get his hand off her because she didn't like it. She laid her head on his shoulder. Wow, talk about getting your message across. In the book, Hannah even says that if you say exactly what I've said above, you are ���victim shaming���. In this scenario, there was no victim because you were not threatened. This was not perceived as a threatening act unless you make it so. The boy who did it isn't a mind reader. You two were on some kind of date. If I was on a date and they touched my thigh, I would either accept it (as you did) or ask them to remove their hand because I don't feel comfortable with it. Communication is about using your voice.

Another is that there was a class about depression and suicidal thoughts and the like. Students were encouraged to step forward with their problems. Hannah chose to do this anonymously and got offended when no one could help her because they didn't know her name or much about her predicament. I'm sorry, but you chose to go about it that way. Not one of those people sitting in the classroom with you was a mind reader. They couldn't stand up and go, ���Oh yeah, that was written by Hannah Baker!��� you dumb fuck. If you want help, you have to ask for it. That's how I've always dealt with my depression and anxiety; by asking for help.

In all honesty, Hannah was a stupid, stupid girl. She ended her life so that she could get petty revenge on other people, destroy their lives entirely, for small things that could have been avoided if she got her head out of her ass and stopped thinking the world revolved around her and her problems.

And poor Clay! He sat through all of that just to realise that he hadn't actually played a part in Hannah's death. She just wanted him to listen to it. What a bitch.

If anyone was to send that to me, tell me I'm one of the reasons why they killed themselves and then asked me to send on these tapes to the next person on the list, I'd smash the tapes. I really would. Especially if the reasons behind the person killing themselves were shallow.

I'm going to remember Jay Asher's name so that if I ever see another book by that author, I'll be very hesitant to pick it up. ( )
  Tarklovishki | Oct 31, 2014 |
Hannah Baker finds an unusual way to let people know how their actions affected her life in very adverse ways. Unfortunately, her quest for (their) understanding comes too late for them to make amends and change their ways.

My teenage daughter and I were both frustrated with Hannah for not really trying to get help before things got too bad. It does serve as a reminder to all of us to be careful how we treat others. This did seem to have an authentic and believable voice of a high school girl, at least from what I remember from my own teenage angsty days and from what I see my kids going through. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Oct 28, 2014 |
With those glorious reviews
and high ratings from the
readers. I thought this was
going to be a blast but it
turned out not. And I always
have this soft spot when it
comes to death/suicide. But
what I got was disapointment.
The thirteen reasons why
Hannah Barker committed
suicide were merely childish.
I mean she took her own life
just because people didn't do
good things to her, someone
used her, made fun of her,
stole her notes, or whatever
the reasons were. Everyone
experienced the same thing.
Even worst. I was annoyed by
it. But the idea of how this
book created was great. And
also there was this little touch
of romance which was cute. ( )
  Perco | Oct 11, 2014 |
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