Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this book back when it was first released and really enjoyed the meaning and the message that the story is telling.
I have 2 book clubs that are reading this book so I re-read it and found that I forgot a lot of little details - which is not the best thing to do with a book like this! Still, I did enjoy it, but I did give it a lower rating of stars than I originally gave it back in 2007-2008. I don't know, maybe I wasn't as amazed by it now that our society has changed so much since that time? I can't quite pinpoint the reason, but don't get me wrong - I did still enjoy it and was glad to discuss it with other people to get their viewpoint of the novel.
Clay comes home and finds a shoebox on his doorstep. When he opens it, he finds cassette tapes. Clay goes to his garage and uses the boombox to listen to the tapes and see what they are. But when he hears Hannah's voice, he knows he needs a more private place to listen to the tapes. Because Hannah committed suicide just recently, so he is hearing the voice of a dead girl. A girl he used to have a crush on.
Once he "borrows" a classmates Walkman, Clay travels around town to listen to Hannah explain the 13 reasons why she got to the point in her life to commit suicide. And Clay is on that list, but he can't understand what he did to Hannah to bring her to that state.
Now Clay is listening to the stories about Justin, Alex, Jessica, Tyler, Courtney, Marcus, Zach, Ryan, Jenny, Bryce and Mr. Porter and what they did to Hannah to tear her self-confidence down.
But now that Clay knows this information, what is he going to do now?
This book touches on a few very hard topics that teens today are going through everyday. I feel like this is a great novel that talks about these issues, but doesn't lecture or talk about how to do these things.
With the Netflix TV show out, directed by Selena Gomez, this has been a big controversial issue in the schools recently. But my response to that is the book has been out for 10 years. Just because the TV show is different than the book does not mean that the book should not be read by parents, teachers, teens, etc. This book may have had some controversies, but from what I've heard, the TV show is not that similar to the book, so the issues that are coming out of the show should not influence the reading of the book.
Because I feel like Jay Asher did a wonderful job writing Hannah's story and explaining the mental illness that she had. And the best thing I loved was reading the answers Jay Asher answered at the back of the book, because it does touch on a lot of questions that have been asked recently. If only people would read the questions and answers, they wouldn't be so confused or decipher instances wrongly.
Overall, I liked this book and I liked hearing what both of my book clubs had to say about this book to get another understanding of things that I didn't come up with myself.
Out of this whole review, I think the most important thing is that I want people to read this book. The book is completely better than the TV show and I don't want people to judge this great novel by a TV adaptation. :)
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