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Thirteen Reasons Why(HARDBACK EDITION) (edition 2007)

by JAY ASHER

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5,488467790 (4.02)193
HonoluluSprite's review
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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  aweinel | Jul 14, 2014 |
This book makes you think about how your actions can affect other people and how it makes them feel. 5Q3P, (sadly I think this book isn't as popular as it should be). The cover art is awesome and I'd recommend it to middle school and high school students as well as adults. I chose to read this book because I heard about it from other people that it was good and have been waiting to get a chance to read it. BreB
  edspicer | Jul 5, 2014 |
This book is about a girl named Hannah who committed suicide, and also about the narrator named Clay.

I have a love/hate relationship with this book because I find the story very unique and riveting. I could not put the book down and I stayed up all night reading the book.

There’s something about this book that makes me want to keep turning the pages to find out the ending real quick. The characters in the story compliments each other in a dark and creepy way,

which makes the book interesting.On the other hand the thing that bothers me about this book is the fact that she committed suicide, it just makes me so uneasy that someone commits suicide at such a young age.

I know that this is a real and on going issue withing teenagers and that the problems presented in this book may sound shallow for someone to commit suicide. But bullying and sexual harassment/advances are big

issues that most teenagers faces and in a lot of cases they tend to just keep quiet and keep to themselves because they are afraid of what people would think of them or that people would judge them instead of helping and

understanding. This book can help raise awareness on the issues such as suicide, bullying, rape among students. And hopefully by raising awareness we can prevent suicide among the teenage population.

All in all its a really good book and very well written. ( )
  ladyangelica | Jun 27, 2014 |
This book is an absolute page-turner! It's a really emotional book and an astounding too. It's a tough-but-must-read! ( )
  PamZaragoza | Jun 27, 2014 |
This book crushed my heart.

It is the story of a typical high schooler named Clay. Clay is that nice guy in high school nobody has a bad thing to say about. When Clay finds a box of cassette tapes in the mail he doesn't know they will change his life forever. Recorded on those tapes are the story of Hannah, his classmate who killed herself a few weeks before. Hannah, the girl that Clay always wanted to know better but never got up the courage to talk to because she had a reputation.

Hannah breaks your heart as she gives thirteen reasons why she killed herself and the names of thirteen people who pushed her over the edge. I found myself glued to Hannah's story. Even though you knew she had already committed suicide you felt like she was alive again and that somehow you could make a difference in the outcome of her life. Asher does such a good job of getting into her head, making you feel like you are simultaneously both Clay and Hannah. I cried at the end with Clay because I felt the pain of losing her again. It's one of those books both beautiful and sad. It really makes you think about how your actions affect others.

I highly recommend this book. I also recommend it in audio book format because they use two different narrators for Clay and Hannah and the results are powerful. You feel like you are listening to her tapes with Clay. ( )
4 vote RosyLibrarian | Jun 6, 2014 |
Everyone needs to read Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Everyone needs to know how words and actions can hurt the people. I loved this book. I could not put this book down. I still can't believe it ended this way, with him saying a name that wasn't in the book until the last chapter. I will admit, their are a few weird parts, like why would you put that in a book?

The main character, Clay, is an innocent high schooler. But one thing, his crush committed suicide two weeks before he listened to the tapes. The tapes full of answers and secrets that should not be told and people that do and don't deserve to be on these tapes. Clay follows a map all over town, to where Hannah, the girl who committed suicide, went and is involved in the tapes.

Clay tries long and hard to get away from people to listen to these emotional tapes. Thirteen tapes and he can't stand knowing what tape he is on. Little did he know, his best friend, Tony, was linked to these tapes, Hannah gave them to him before dying. Tony is the kind of friend that will be there and will know if something is wrong. I believe that this author wrote this book due to all the bullying that happens and this is what happens when people are rude and don't mind their own business then spread rumors around. The was I see it, if you know someone who is getting bullied, do something, don't be a by stander and watch it happen, no one wants another Hannah Baker.

I had many questions at the beginning of the book. What did Clay do to Hannah? Why did Hannah kill herself? Why does Clay want to be alone? And I still have questions. You need to read this book, tell your friends and family. This book needs a label saying "MUST READ". I loved it and I know everyone else will too.
  br14chbo | Jun 5, 2014 |
The premise was intriguing and I was curious about where the book would lead, but honestly I just didn't like the story. I didn't feel the anguish one would expect from this character...at all. ( )
  AlexTully | Jun 4, 2014 |
A compelling read that should be on the reading list for high school freshmen. It's the story of a teen suicide, who tells her 13 reasons why she killed herself on tapes sent to the 13 people who -- mostly unknowingly -- led her to feel invisible and unattached to the world. The story is told through her voice on the tapes and by a boy she had hopes could become a boyfriend... and his thoughts and feelings on how she pushed him away and how he had given up on her. Yes, some cliches and other writing tricks to move the story along, but engaging and powerful -- and certainly a book that fosters discussion about a taboo subject. ( )
  Randall.Hansen | May 3, 2014 |
This is a simply astounding book about the reasons why a girl decided to end her own life. The book opens your eyes on certain issues that can build up in a teenagers life. People always wonder why things like this happen, well this book is your inside look. It is amazing. I feel like all teenagers should read it! I loved it! ( )
  CMJohnson | Apr 29, 2014 |
A very poignant and at times excruciating tale of why a teenage girl chooses to end her life, along with the circumstances and people who added to her decision. This book should be a must read for high school students, because it helps people understand just how one little event can snowball, and how what looks like such a minor thing can be part of a huge, almost incomprehensible problem.



It also shows how people can ignore what's right in front of them, until it's too late. While there wasn't really a happy ending, there was a more hopeful one. If Clay can save another person's life, and reading this book can help suicidal teens, then it was worth all the pain and misery listening to Hannah's story and reading the book created.



The biggest tragedy wasn't the beginning, but how Mr. Porter ignored Hannah at the very end. He could see the tell tale signs and ignored them. He had her life in his hands and he could have changed things...and didn't.



Easily one of the best books I've read in a long time.



( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
A very poignant and at times excruciating tale of why a teenage girl chooses to end her life, along with the circumstances and people who added to her decision. This book should be a must read for high school students, because it helps people understand just how one little event can snowball, and how what looks like such a minor thing can be part of a huge, almost incomprehensible problem.



It also shows how people can ignore what's right in front of them, until it's too late. While there wasn't really a happy ending, there was a more hopeful one. If Clay can save another person's life, and reading this book can help suicidal teens, then it was worth all the pain and misery listening to Hannah's story and reading the book created.



The biggest tragedy wasn't the beginning, but how Mr. Porter ignored Hannah at the very end. He could see the tell tale signs and ignored them. He had her life in his hands and he could have changed things...and didn't.



Easily one of the best books I've read in a long time.



( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
Highly disturbing presmise (especially in light of the fact it's a book for teens!), but definitely a page turner. ( )
  KatieCarella | Apr 12, 2014 |
As a parent of two teenagers, my daughter strongly encouraged me to read this book. I realize that there is not much more to add as far as detailed reviews of this book goes, but I will just restate again: This book is also recommended reading for parents, too. Seriously...if your teen is asking you to read a book, you should be happy they are letting you in their world. Read it! ( )
  elleayess | Mar 30, 2014 |
Thirteen Reasons Why was a phenomenal book that, although fiction, allows readers to see the aspect of suicide from the actual committer's point of view. The author did a great job in incorporating the use of an old voice recorder and cassette tapes to pass on the story of Hannah Baker. Jay Asher writes in a way that really engages the reader and has you sucked right into the book, as if you're one of the by-standing characters. I would definitely recommend this book to all teenagers out there, and encourage those who may be going through tough times to realize Hannah's mistake, and instead of giving up on themselves, to seek out the available help. ( )
  ohheyyitsminjee | Mar 21, 2014 |
There aren't many books that get me so hooked, that I can't put it down. This one kept me turning the pages. Excellent and emotional read. ( )
  bookish92 | Mar 20, 2014 |
I picked up Thirteen Reasons Why because I kept seeing it pop up on lists of “must read” books. I was a little hesitant about it at first because suicide isn’t really a subject matter I’m generally interested in reading about. Also, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the premise as it almost sounded like the book was justifying placing blame for the decision to commit suicide on those who Hannah felt wronged her. But instead, the book gave a very realistic look at how thoughtless words and actions can have a very real effect on someone's life.

The story revolves around two central characters. Hanna, who commits suicide after recording a series of tapes giving all of her reasons and sending them to the people she feels were a large factor in that decision, and Clay, who is one of the recipients of these tapes. Hanna’s voice is powerful and compelling as she relives some of the worst moments of her life. I was so impressed at the way the author was able to convey the sense of trapped isolation Hannah was feeling and how things just kept snowballing. But at the same time, the author showed how Hannah’s choices contributed to that breakdown. I loved Clay’s character. It was his story that really touched my heart. The way he reacted to what he was hearing, visiting each scene as Hanna related her experiences to better feel what she was saying and where she was both physically and emotionally when she was living these moments. The insight that went into creating this novel was nothing less than incredible.

Each cassette focused on a particular person or incident and how one situation fit into or affected the next. In the author's own words, a "snowball effect" that lead to Hannah making this most final of decisions. I think that this is a great book to open a dialog about feeling overwhelmed and helpless, as so many teenagers do. I think, as adults, we forget sometimes how intensely teenagers feel things and how tough some of the social aspects of school can be. I would love to see this book used to initiate discussions about these things, both with parents as well as in the schools themselves.

I can only rate this a five and also consider this a must read for everyone, all ages. ( )
  a.happy.booker | Mar 14, 2014 |
This is a book about suicide and about the little things that happen on a day to day basis that may eventually drive someone to kill his or herself. It's depressing, it's sad, it is not a be-happy type of novel, but it is so good and so worth it. Jay Asher does an excellent job at really showing how one careless remark (or not so careless) can have a snowball effect and really change a person's future.

As a mother, this book frightened me. My son is in middle school and will enter high school in less than three years. I wish I could protect him (and his sister) from everything bad that happens in high school. I know I can't though. But, what I can do is make sure that when they are a little older, they will read this book. ( )
  jsamaha | Mar 14, 2014 |
When I started reading this book I thought it would be about Hannah and her decision to commit suicide, and it is. More so, to me, it is Clay's story. This is about surviving a friend's death, understanding consequences when bystander intervention is absent and moving on. Asher has taken the time to highlight incidents that occur in most (if not all) high schools in the U.S. and abroad which further reaffirms issues of bullying in young people's lives. This book is also great for starting conversations with youth around bullying, social pressures, stress and suicide.

I'll admit, when I finished this quick read I ventured over to Goodreads to mark it as "read" and read other reviews posted. I had a lot of mixed emotions and so I went for a walk...

*Climbs onto soap box*

Below are some of my random thoughts for processing:

Suicide does not need a valid reason. What I mean by this, is even if Hannah's thirteen reasons feel petty, they weren't to her and that's the point. Every human handles stress differently. Any one of these thirteen reasons have been someone else's one reason. For some people it's one bad report card for another it may be year's of abuse, and for another it maybe a life long struggle with mental illness. All equally valid reasons and with equal loss.
It's not your fault. Clay says this often as he listens to Hannah's stories. He tries to replay events in his head to see when he could've reached out to Hannah and Hannah experiences/witnesses several incidents of her own, all bad things but none of them their fault. It's not even the "Baker Dozen's" fault.

We need bystander intervention training in schools/workplaces. You see this halfway play out in a scene with Justin and Bryce along with the effect of a failed intervention on Bryce's part. You also see this play out with Hannah and Jenny later on the same night. And you see plenty of characters stand by idly as things happen that should not. Hannah goes through great lengths in her tapes to explain why each of the situations are not acceptable and how they've built onto her snowball of non-escape.
Move on. The last person Hannah calls out is Mr. Porter, her guidance counselor and English teacher. "Move on" is one of two choices he presents Hannah, which she uses as affirmation of her decision because she already knows that she cannot "move on". However, Clay uses the same advice to act as closure and spark a new hope. It's our ability to "move on" which allows each of us to wake up and start a new day. That doesn't mean forgive, forget, remain silent or become an activist. It simply means to finish today and begin tomorrow. Just move on.
*Climbs off soap box*

The book was fast paced, thrilling and a page turner. Asher exhibits a really interesting take on writing with multiple points-of-view. It took me a minute to sort out the voices in my head, but I really enjoyed not having to wait a whole chapter until I could get input from the other POV. I'm looking forward to more writing from Asher. ( )
  meghannmm | Mar 13, 2014 |
I loved it! And it says a lot, and it raises awareness about bullying, harassment, and suicide.

I have been reading the comments made here, and many critics of the book are arguing that Hannah didn't have enough reasons to commit suicide, that suicide is selfish, that she needed to get tougher, that it's absurd that she let someone abuse her and rape her, and that she was looking for attention. CLEARLY, anyone who agrees with these hypotheses has never been through ANY of the situations that the character Hannah has went through, or it didn't affect them much because they had support, or weren't depressed to begin with. This book is spreading awareness about suicide and depression. It attempts to make everyone see how the same incident might not hurt a certain person, but could affect another person deeply and severely. Suicide is the 5th stage of Depression, and it isn't done for attention, for God's sake: the person is KILLING themselves, what attention you talking about? they know damn well that when you find out they killed themselves, then they're dead, they cannot get your stupid attention! A very stereotyped stupid thing to say. And it isn't the easy way out, or cowardly. We're in the 21st century and people are stigmatizing mentally ill people, grow up! get off your white horse, and understand that these things happen, and one should talk and act responsibly because actions and words have consequences, and this is the message of this book. If you can handle bullying, not everyone can! ( )
  pathogenik | Mar 2, 2014 |
This is a book that really makes people (not JUST teens) have a better perspective on issues they maybe haven't thought through before. really enjoyed some of what Hannah said about when people say "just playing" or "just relax" and other issues related to personal space, sexuality, and harrasment.

that said, there is a really really obnoxious narrator who interrupts her story A LOT. I understand why the author needs him as a vehicle for story delivery, but I would have streamlined some of it. also, at the beginning, I feel like the narrator overreacts about EVERYTHING. which was frustrating. As the book went on, I could see more reasons for mental anguish, but at the very beginning, not so much.

I don't hold Hannah completely without blame. Yes, all these awful things happened to her, but from her tapes, it sounds like she only tried to tell her guidance counselor, and when she did that, she downplayed what she really should have told him. There were enough bad things that happened that she should have told more adults along the way about the situations.

While this book is trying to change the perspectives society may have about women, IT IS NOT CONSISTENT. grrr. One character is described as being pretty and not knowing it, because she doesn't dress like well. then goes on to describe loose fitting clothing that is uncomplementery to her figure. -Just because a woman is nice looking it doesn't obligate her to SHOW it off.- -maybe she knows she is nice looking and decides to downplay it for her own safety. reaallllllly folks-

This book also informs schools what may or may not happen when there is not a professional guidance counselor on staff- c'mon budget cuts :

This is a book that teens shouldnt just read for entertainment, but as a discussion with adults/parents/caregiver to be sure that they understand the consequences of perpetuating these types of unhealthy treatments of their peer groups, and to discuss action plans and strategies for intervention. ( )
  GR8inD8N | Feb 28, 2014 |
I'll Write me review after washing the dishes maybe some inspiration will come :)

After Washing Dishes :
Now let's think what made Hannah Baker thought of Suicide every now and then ?
1. nobody cares enough (it's a really main cause for everyone who decide to QUIT ! , right ? )

2. RUMORS (yes it will make the snow ball get huger !)

3. nobody stopped her when she said "I hate life or I want to Quit) (this is a big point too)

what we can extract from this story is:
Life has tides and ebbs so it's a law ! it's inevitable so when we have an ebbs we should hold on until the tide comes :)



whenever your life get suck and you hate every single thing in it go talk to your mother , friend anybody who you fell relaxed by talking to !
but I believe Allah will listen to you and never will get bored of that , he knows what you're going through without even you open your mouth ..

Characters in :
Hannah Baker the one who suicide :/ NEEDS someone to talk to , someone who will understand her , Someone care for her , someone really Love her but we always don't look near we search for the furthest she doesn't know that Clay have it all , she surrendered easily without give anyone a chance (I don't mean people on the list) but Clay could !

Clay Jensen : Clay , I love Your mother :D
he is the kind of nice and straight guys who don't have their names enter a one gossip (I think That's THE BEST) Clay the best think you did was helping Skye .. you're great Clay
*haha with who you're talking girrrrrrlll ?*
oh yea a fictional character

See washing dishes is a good thing ;)
( )
  Soplada | Feb 27, 2014 |
Very serious subject matter (teen suicide). However, it goes to show people that your actions towards others can seriously affect people's lives. I would recommend it to any teens or adults. ( )
  LaneLiterati | Feb 20, 2014 |
This book brought back the feelings of high school--such as fitting in, and worrying about what people think of you. It's hard to imagine then, that things will get better--high school isn't everything. This book was very gripping ,and though it was a dark subject (teen suicide) I wanted to keep reading until the end. I wanted to see how all the pieces fit together and how a bunch of small things can become too much handle. ( )
  TeamDewey | Feb 17, 2014 |
I don't know why I loved this book so much. I just did. I read it in one sitting. Perhaps because I know so many teenagers that struggle with depression. Perhaps because I was a teacher & could picture past students feeling as Hannah did. Or perhaps because the behavior of unacceptance & the mean girl mentality are so prevelant in middle & high schools today due to youngsters having such low self esteem that in order to feel good about themselves, they must mistreat others. Or perhaps because the author does such a great job of demonstrating how the mistreatment & exclusion of teens by other teens affects the psyche of youngsters. Or perhaps due to the recent rise in teen suicides within the past 10 years & the fact that not many YA books deal with the subject. I can't place my finger on it, this book just really resonated with me when I read it. ( )
  PiperUp | Jan 29, 2014 |
Oh my
I don't know what to say.
It was a quick read and I couldn't put it down. I felt like I needed to know what happened next as much as Clay. Just oh my.
And it was Jay Asher's first book.
Oh my
Shockingly beautiful i think is how to put it. Shocking, confronting and almost too realistic.
I need a cookie. ( )
  bethie-paige | Jan 29, 2014 |
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