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Thirteen Reasons Why(HARDBACK EDITION) by…

Thirteen Reasons Why(HARDBACK EDITION) (edition 2007)


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5,875486712 (4)209
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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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 |
There is not a whole lot I can say about this book that has not already been written, but I read it on suggestion of my 13 year old niece (we are very close), after there was a very serious suicide attempt at her school by a girl she knew (but not well). It is easy to forget how incredibly painful rumor, gossip and outright lies can be at that age, but it is important we listen, as the reality is that in the age of technology, kids are experiencing these horrors faster and sooner and sadly, globally. One rumor can spread like wildfire to the other side of the country in about two minutes; and destroy a reputation and life. So this book seems like a noble attempt to educate on the reality behind careless, thoughtless and downright mean behaviors and gossip. It also helped blast open a discussion about suicide, hopelessness and also, kindness between my niece and me. It is far easier for a teenager to talk in the context of another (fictional) person, rather than themselves sometimes. Anyway, it was an interesting book, sad, but real. While the blame was incredibly hard to read, the reality is that is often how kids think, so whether I agreed or not with Hannah's tapes was irrelevant, it surely was real. I felt the plot was a little contrived, especially how the entire accident/party events fell together, but then, it was quite a powerful illustration of the effects of our actions and I think it worked well for that. I have a few doubts whether this puts the seed of suicide in kids' head though, but then again, it is already happening and I tend to feel that it is not anything teenagers these days don't already know. Highly recommended, especially if you have a teenager to chat with about it. I'm grateful my niece opened up her world to me through this book. ( )
  CarolynSchroeder | Oct 6, 2014 |
I really loved this book, this was one book that made me really cry in a while. I would really recommend this! It's a realistic book, that teens and Adults should read.

Just one thing keeps on bothering me, some of the negative reviews. I keep reading "This isn't why you should commit suicide, it encourages suicide, I would never do this etc" the point is you are NOT Hannah. You are NOT supposed to relate to a character, simply understand. People handle things differently, and yes guilt/rape/helplessness are some of the reasons why people commit suicide. The character Hannah was vulnerable from the start, she was weaker than most - look at it from her perspective, and not your own. people are DIFFERENT. No matter what reason it is, I Would NOT commit suicide, but that's because I'm much stronger than Hannah. I'm me. And she is Hannah. I would not judge her for committing suicide. She had no one to turn to, she was helpless. Although, she could have told Clay the truth but people are afraid. If you "strong willed" people cannot understand that, then it is just sad. Suicide should never be an option, but when people do commit it - you should understand why they did it and who was responsible more than the victim. So judgmental. Imagine if this was a true story, and the victim was aware of these comments? Really sad what people are saying. ( )
  benishkhanx | Sep 26, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book. First, the negatives... I could only really find one... the voices take some work to differentiate. Hannah's voice is italicized, while Clay's and everyone else's is not, but they are mingling with each other, as Clay reacts and responds to what Hannah says in her suicide tapes. I found myself having to back up and re-read things to get the voices right and keep them straight.

That said, I really enjoyed the story. It felt original, and I found several good, thought-provoking quotes. I also liked the message of the story, about how actions have ripple effects that people do not necessarily expect or know about. So many times we hear that we can do whatever we want as long as it hurts no one else, but many times we don't know how what we do affects other people.

Hannah leaves cassettes behind to a select few to tell her story, to explain what brought her to her suicide, to show how actions and sometimes non-actions make a difference. She exhibits all the telling signs of someone getting ready to commit suicide (changing appearance, giving things away, asking for help), but no one listened to her. The people chosen all have a hand to play in her suicide, or so she says (except for Clay).

I'm not sure I agree with placing blame on other people for making a decision like that, because ultimately it is the person's choice, and they can really only blame themselves. She had her whole life ahead of her. She would have graduated and left all of those people behind, starting over. She chose to live in that particular moment and end it all.

In my opinion she had a victim's mentality, which I don't really care for. Yes, she was treated poorly, yes she witnessed some pretty bad stuff, but nothing that happened to her was that shocking when you consider what teens are exposed to these days. She was the one who chose to let Bryce use her and take advantage of her, in the end. And even though Mr. Porter failed her, rather than being a voice for other people suffering from the same things, she gave up, placed her blame, and checked out. Suicide is such a selfish answer to temporary problems.

I still liked the originality of the story, and it was a page-turning quick read... I would recommend it... but I would stress that in my opinion although it sends one right message about the affects people have on each other, it has a bad message in that it blames those people for her final action. ( )
  recipe_addict | Sep 21, 2014 |
When I first heard about the book, I knew that I had to read it. When I heard that a movie was going to be made about it, I knew that I had to read it pretty soon.

Now that I read it, I'm not really sure how to feel about it. I feel like there are good things about this novel, but also really bad things too.

The good.

The concept. I loved it. It was the main reason why I was intrigued by this novel in the first place. A girl kills herself and sends tapes to those who wronged her. That's pretty powerful stuff. Whenever I read a news article about a teen who committed suicide, I do wonder why. And this novel takes us on that journey. It's not pretty, but it's something that Hannah wanted to tell.

The writing. The writing was good and flowed quite well. I do understand how it might be frustrating to go back and forth between Hannah and Clay (Hannah's tape is written in italics while Clay is in regular text), but the writing style didn't bother me. The only time I felt annoyed was when Clay started speaking during the interesting moments of the tape, because I wanted to just listen to Hannah. But even then, it made sense so I didn't mind it too much.

The moral of the story. What you say or do can affect someone in ways you may never imagine. I think this is a really profound and good message to have.

The bad.

Hannah and the execution of her story. I know, I know. I even feel bad writing her name here like this, but she annoyed me. I wanted to sympathize with her, I wanted to be on her corner, but some of the people she sent the tape to didn't deserve it.

Also, I felt like she had a defeatist attitude about everything. It wasn't that long ago since I was a teen, so I do understand her hardships. And I've suffered through depression, so I understand how sucky it is feeling that way. But she never does anything about her situation. Her gut tells her not to do something, but she does it anyways. Her gut tells her to step up and ask for help, but she doesn't do it.

She just lets things happen and criticizes others for it. She does mention that the suicide is her choice, but the book is about her blaming others, some of them do deserve this, others don't.

I like that she's flawed, self-absorbed, and kind of shallow, but some self reflection would have been nice to read.

The part of the story when Hannah tells us what happened during the party is what really made me annoyed with her.She pushes Clay away from her, because it's too late. She witnesses a rape of her former friend and just sits there and lets it happen. What's worse is that her former friend is unconscious while this is going on. She probably didn't find out about it until she got her tapes and that really peeved me off. Even though they're not friends anymore, let her know what happened. Finding out like this is just messed up!

I'll just stop, because I realize that I'm ranting at the moment.

Clay. I feel bad for this one too, but he was seriously way too good. I don't have a problem with this, but I kind of hate that Hannah sent him the tapes. He was nothing but good to her so she includes his name to apologize to him and say he's a great guy....I don't know about you, but I almost felt like it was better for him to not know what really happened, because this tape would probably scar him

He didn't deserve the tapes and seemed to only be there to enforce Hannah's message. I almost kind of wish Byrce or someone who did something wrong to her was providing commentary. Then we could see both sides of the story and have some guilt and self reflection on their part.


This book has and will touch many people. Teen suicide is a touchy but important topic that needs to be discussed more. There are just some things about this book that didn't work for me.

3 stars. ( )
  pdbkwm | Sep 8, 2014 |
This book was recommended to me by a co-worker. She said her daughter wasn't a big reader, but loved it. Sometimes I'm hesitant to read books when someone prefaces it with "I don't usually read, but...". It almost never works out, but I get suckered in every time anyway. In this case, my co-worker also read it and it enjoyed it, so I took a chance. My goodness! This is a book that stays with you long after you've finished. Even now, when I see it in the stores, if I'm with someone who has not read it, I suggest they should. Very, very, good. ( )
  pennylane78 | Sep 6, 2014 |
If you're not the biggest fan of teenage fictions, there is one thing you might want to keep in mind in case you decide to read this book: forget the fact that there was supposed to be a "lesson" in the story. You know, "be nice with other people, pay attention to any signs of distress or change of behavior". Stuff like that. Don't expect an epic thriller, because this book does not follow that style.
The first thing that will probably draw your attention to this book is its format. Sure, there are several books that have more than one narrator, but this one shows a very interesting way of telling a story. It shows the same story in two different points of view, going through different times. One of them is a girl who is, in a way, being bullied by other colleagues because of some mean rumors that started to spread throughout the school. The other is a boy who, in a certain point of his life, interacted with this girl. The said girl had recently committed suicide, but left a bit more than a suicide note: she left behind one map and seven cassette tapes, each one explaining one reason why she killed herself.
The story itself is far from being the best one I've ever read, but it is enticing enough to keep you wanting to know more... until the middle of the book, where the story actually gets slightly disappointing. The narration style that alternates between the girl's reasons and the boy's thoughts about them are, at the very least, quite interesting.

What I didn't really like about the book: the way each reason connected to each other. I mean, in the first tapes I could understand Hannah's reasons for doing what she did, but after a certain point, it started to seem like she wasn't much more than a person eager for some attention than for real help. I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that some people don't know how to handle certain situations because they were raised in a very "closed/protected" environment, and while I do know that some families are truly like that, I don't believe that Hannah, having such strong bonds with her family in the beginning of the book, never thought of bringing up the problem either with them or any other relatives and only recurring to the counselor as the last resort. But then again, I cannot condemn her decision because I know that her attitude is perfectly... possible.

A good book to be read once, perhaps even twice. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
I listened to this book unabridged. It was pretty close to torture by the end. I liked the concept at first and was intrigued. The only reason I finished it was because I didn't have another audio book lined up to listen to in the car and by the time I did... I was close to the end. I HATED the characters and wanted to jump into the story and kill the girl myself. Drama, drama, drama... everyone goes through this in High School and her story was nothing special. How this book got an average of 4 STARS is beyond me. I guess for those teenagers that can sympathize it hit a mark with them? But what kind of message does this book send? Here are legitimate reasons to commit suicide? If that were the case then the human race would cease to exist. Maybe the Author made her this way on purpose and to illicit this exact reaction I have, but I highly doubt it. I found myself yelling out at the radio, "You dumb *!$%, get a grip and stop blaming everyone else for your problems." Maybe if the character had true depression, that would be understandable but they did the opposite and pointed the finger using these "reasons why". Horrible and gives a terrible message in my opinion, plus the writing and dialogue is atrocious. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
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