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Thirteen Reasons Why(HARDBACK EDITION) (edition 2007)

by JAY ASHER

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6,506534588 (3.99)218
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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Hannah is a teenager in a new town. As she begins to meet people she kisses a boy, and that boy destroys her reputation. Hannah ends her life and leaves behind thirteen tapes for the thirteen people that she believes brought her to commit suicide. Throughout the story, Clay is listening to the tapes and we learn about everything that went wrong in Hannah's life. She is very angry in the tapes, and she believes she should have done things differently. ( )
  Kay_Downing | Apr 28, 2016 |
Meh, I really didn't care about Hannah that much. For the first half of the book I really disliked her, she's whiny and melodramatic about everything.
I can think of things that happened to me in high school that were of a similar nature to those that happened to Hannah and yeah at the time you're a teenage bundle of emotions, but everyone is going through basically the same thing and you just get on with it. If Asher had made more of an effort to convey that she was suffering from depression or something, maybe she would have been a more sympathetic character. But I just got the sense that she was self centered and selfish, particularly because she makes these tapes and forces people to listen to her story after she's dead - something that seems really unfair to me. If anyone deserved some form of comeuppance in the book it would be Bryce (I won't say what he did, but it was something really terrible) who should have been put in jail. But otherwise, everyone else was just a regular teenager doing regular teenager stuff and Hannah makes everyone feel awful about it. The message beind the book is important, suicide is definitely a topic that it is important to address and understand - I just don't think this book pulled off what it was trying to very well. ( )
1 vote Katharine_Hanson | Mar 30, 2016 |
Absolutely loved this book! I finished it in about two weeks because I couldn't put it down! It really teaches you a lesson about bullying and how much it can effect a person! I recommend this book ( )
  averyplata | Mar 29, 2016 |
The writing in this was amazingly juvenile. Also I didn't give a damn about Hannah.
  thebookmagpie | Mar 13, 2016 |
I really love how this book was written it was full of mystery and twist. I’m curious about the thirteen reasons why Hannah Baker committed suicide and the people who are involved in her death. I t was really a nice story and it really touches my emotion while reading this book. ( )
  carloperezz37 | Mar 12, 2016 |
Such a powerful story! I recommend it to everyone. ( )
  ChelseaClaudett | Mar 8, 2016 |
Pretty decent - I liked the audio type of narration. ( )
  katieloucks | Feb 26, 2016 |
Absolutely compelling. A read in one day, if not one sitting book. Just like the tapes, once you start, you have to finish. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Absolutely compelling. A read in one day, if not one sitting book. Just like the tapes, once you start, you have to finish. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Absolutely compelling. A read in one day, if not one sitting book. Just like the tapes, once you start, you have to finish. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
Narrated by Debra Wiseman and Joel Johnstone. A disturbing but intriguing premise: Clay receives a package of cassette tapes in the mail. On the tapes is the voice of Hannah Baker who committed suicide two weeks ago. She explains what led to her decision and indicts several classmates as key to her downward spiral. Everyone mentioned on the tapes will receive the same package in the mail. As Clay listens to the voice of the girl he once crushed on, he wishes she would have realized he was there to help her, that she would have met him halfway. The typical self-centered focus of teens in this story means no happy ending for anyone but perhaps gives a more enlightened Clay the opportunity to get it right next time. A title worthy of teen book group discussion but consider the members of the group first. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Not my cup of tea; too boring and the "secrets" weren't interesting at all. DNF ( )
  uhohxkate | Jan 31, 2016 |
The writing in this was amazingly juvenile. Also I didn't give a damn about Hannah.
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
The writing in this was amazingly juvenile. Also I didn't give a damn about Hannah.
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
I wanted to read this, a teen girl killed herself, Pheobe Prince, her death darkened my world a bit, and broke my heart. I have three teens, her death awakened a new fear. This book-Haunting, a look into the events that led a teen girl end her life. She tapes her 13 reasons, the snowball that just rolled along. She sent them to the 13 people that were involved. They had to listen to her and know their part in her suicide. We follow a boy Clay, who "liked" her and did n othing to driver her down the dark hole but still has to live the story with her. It is a heartbreaking and honest story, I think one everyone should read. ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
I'm listening to this on audiobook. (I like Young Adult audiobooks b/c they tend to be much shorter --- an easier time commitment, achievable on trips to and from work over several weeks.)

I can see how this would be an important book for teens. At least in the moment, it makes them realize the effect and even lasting impact their words or behavior can have on others. ( )
  SaraMSLIS | Jan 26, 2016 |
I really liked the special way this story is written. The way Hannah's words in tape and Clay's thoughts are intertwined, making the story more emotional.
And I love the way the love story within slowly unreveals itself.
Yeah, there was a moment I thought the whole "revenge" thing lame. Like when I finished reading two or three stories ( or sides of the cassettes) it seemed like Hannah was making a fuss over nothing, or something that often happened to everyone one time or another. But as I kept on reading, I realized it's not revenge Hannah wanted. It's like she wanted these people who hurt her to know what she felt, to see it from her POV, and yes, to make them see how wrong they were. To stop them hurting someone else again.
And towards the end, I really felt the pain both Hannah and Clay felt, and the end left me crying, which is pretty impressive, coz I'm really not the crying type.
And I guess, through out the book I was kind of hoping Hannah was alive after all, since there was no funeral and all, I kept hoping some twist at the end will keep Hannah alive. But then again, I wouldn't have felt this deep about the whole thing if that was the case, I guess.

( )
  ThilW | Jan 26, 2016 |
I really liked the special way this story is written. The way Hannah's words in tape and Clay's thoughts are intertwined, making the story more emotional.
And I love the way the love story within slowly unreveals itself.
Yeah, there was a moment I thought the whole "revenge" thing lame. Like when I finished reading two or three stories ( or sides of the cassettes) it seemed like Hannah was making a fuss over nothing, or something that often happened to everyone one time or another. But as I kept on reading, I realized it's not revenge Hannah wanted. It's like she wanted these people who hurt her to know what she felt, to see it from her POV, and yes, to make them see how wrong they were. To stop them hurting someone else again.
And towards the end, I really felt the pain both Hannah and Clay felt, and the end left me crying, which is pretty impressive, coz I'm really not the crying type.
And I guess, through out the book I was kind of hoping Hannah was alive after all, since there was no funeral and all, I kept hoping some twist at the end will keep Hannah alive. But then again, I wouldn't have felt this deep about the whole thing if that was the case, I guess.

( )
  ThilW | Jan 26, 2016 |
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was hooked from the first page. I thought the concept was unique and extremely clever, but if the author wanted the reader to feel sorry for Hannah, the suicide victim, he failed miserably. While Hannah is a competent storyteller and some of the people in her life are really horrible, overall, I found her to be a a little witch and a cold-hearted schemer. In complete contrast, Clay, the boy who had a crush on Hannah, is a sensitive, loveable character who struggles with his feelings of guilt as he listens to the tapes.

I loved how the two narratives intertwine - Hannah's voice on the tapes interspersed with Clay's memories and thoughts, and like Clay who couldn't stop listening to Hannah's story until the end, I found myself riveted to the book until the last page. This will be a big hit with teenage girls!! ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 22, 2016 |
13 Reasons Why is a story of teenage suicide through a different lens: the victim. Hannah Baker is a high school girl who recently committed suicide and shocked many of her family and classmates by doing so. The story is told through Clay Jensen, one of Hannah’s friends. A few weeks after her death, he receives tapes of Hannah telling him why 13 people are the reasons she committed suicide. The book is a mash up of Clay’s thoughts, Hannah’s voice, and flashback moments. Throughout the plot, I learned more and more about Hannah’s life and how much little events in her life impacted her. I enjoyed reading this book because people always wonder why others commit suicide and this novel brings a new perspective on that. The storyline moves quickly from one of Clay’s adventures to the next, however it takes place over a short amount of time. It seems as if Clay is listening to the tapes for a week, but in reality it only takes him about 12 hours. Throughout the whole story, I got a sense of who each character I met was and there were a lot of characters. The author does a great job of thoroughly explaining each person and their significance in Hannah’s life and the story. Her story was in pieces at the start of the book, but as I read on, I understood who Hannah was and how she must have felt in her life. The author also does a great job setting up scenes and giving places significance. Clay and Hannah are not in a random place for no reason; each place has a reason in Hannah’s life and now in Clay’s. In conclusion, I thought this was a great read. The characters were easy to connect with and the author did a great job of explaining details.
  Hayfastutman | Jan 21, 2016 |
I was caught reading this book while having lunch out and a young man approached me to ask me what I was reading about. When I replied, "Suicide," he gave me a really startled look and asked me why. The fact that he was so surprised at the topic really made me get into the book more. It is an emotional book, it is gut-wrenching in some places and I had to put it down because I wanted to cry, not just for the young girl who committed suicide, but for those around her when she was living and interacted with. We never truly know how much we impact other people with a look or word. I appreciate Asher for writing a book on something that has both an individual effect and a world wide effect. ( )
  Wannabe_Librarian | Jan 21, 2016 |
My teenage son read this and told me that I had to read it next. He also told his English teacher at school that it should be required reading. It's a fairly easy read, and I can see his attraction to it. I saw the main character as a self-absorbed, melodramatic teen who would have blossomed in college if she'd just given herself the chance. It seemed that she killed herself to get back at 13 people, but the joke is on her (in my opinion) because she is the one who pays the highest price. If I could give 1/2 stars, I would give this one 2.5 because, while I didn't dislike it, I also didn't like it. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
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