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Thirteen Reasons Why(HARDBACK EDITION) by…

Thirteen Reasons Why(HARDBACK EDITION) (edition 2007)


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6,045493688 (4)214
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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It's about: Hannah, a teenager who decides to commit suicide. But, before she does, she makes recordings on tape cassettes explaining why and pointing to 13 very specific reasons (people). She tells her story from where she sees the beginning, and explains how each of the 13 people who get copies of the recordings either contributed to her decision or could have helped her and didn't.

The thing is, it's uncomfortable, and the main character is at times very off-putting and unrelatable - in many ways a typical selfish self-obsessed teenager... and yet, I think the book should be REQUIRED reading for all 8th graders. Maybe even younger, I'm not sure.

Asher did an amazing job of going through the actual psyche and impact that various words and actions have had on Hannah that led her to kill herself. And although these words and actions will not always have the same impact on all teenagers, it is certainly not unusual for this type of reaction -- the isolation and fear and depression that results. At the same time, Asher did an amazing job with Clay (the other narrator) and hope and awareness.

Such an impressive feat.
An easy (based on audio version, listened to at 1.5 speed) ( )
  avanders | Aug 25, 2015 |
Hannah, a teen girl, decides to commit suicide, but before she does she makes 13 recordings explaining why, and how each of the 13 people who get copies of the recordings either contributed to her decision, or could have helped her and didn't. This book is amazing in its ability to capture the desperation of depression. It does more than that though, Jay Asher weaves an amazing story that could very easily be real - and he shows how it is never one single thing that is so terrible that someone chooses suicide - it is a "snowball" of little events - rumors, lies, small moments, lonely feelings, combined with the feeling that they are trying to ask for help and no one is hearing them, or no one cares. Mr. Asher doesn't stop with Hannah's point-of-view, he includes Clay - one of her 13 reasons - so that we can see the other side of the coin. In Clay, we get to see what it is like for the people left behind - for those who knew something was wrong, but didn't know what, or how to help.

This book is well written - it's a page turner and heart breaker, and above all it teaches lessons about how we treat each other, and the importance of not giving up on people even when they are pushing you away. Seriously, Mr. Asher, well done.

I would recommend this book for all teens, adults who work with teens, parents of teens...pretty much anyone, really. Its a great story with a powerful message. (There are some topics discussed that may be too graphic for the under 13 crowd) ( )
  BeckyGraham1016 | Aug 20, 2015 |
I rarely give books 5 stars anymore because once I began critiquing books I just became...well...more critical. Thirteen Reasons Why gets close to my highest rating because it's so darn clever. A girl is dead, but she comes back to haunt the 13 people who contributed to her decision to commit suicide through a tape recording she made before she died. In the recording she recounts the circumstances that, when added together, pushed her over the edge. We hear the details of her downfall through the perspective of Clay, one of the designated 13. Asher delivers a convincing voice for Hannah and miraculously pulls all the details together while all along maintaining the suspense needed to keep the reader guessing. Reminds me of [b:The Perks of Being a Wallflower|22628|The Perks of Being a Wallflower|Stephen Chbosky|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1363910637s/22628.jpg|2236198]. ( )
  valorrmac | Aug 19, 2015 |
An excellent first novel...I expect it to take off with my more mature 8th grade girls. While dealing with the disturbing and sensitive issue of teen (or any) suicide, its message is one of hope and does not condone that choice in any way. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
Clay Jenkins is excited to find a package at his doorstep, but then troubled to find that it contains thirteen audio cassette tapes narrated by his most recent “crush” before she committed suicide. Clay must endure the pain of listening to the thirteen reason why Hannah took her own life before he passes the tapes on to the next person in the list of those who Hannah blames for her misery. Alternating male and female narrators explain Clay and Hannah’s perspectives of the situation. As Clay starts to understand Hannah better, the reader begins to realize how interconnected we all are, and how the things we say and do have a much broader impact than we expect. Disturbing at times, this work of realistic fiction is a window into the mind of a young girl who just can’t deal with her life as it is. And though we might not make the same choice if in her shoes, we begin understand the reasons why she made it. ( )
  MzzColby | Aug 7, 2015 |
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 |
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