Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
Read: June 21 – June 22, 2011
Challenge: Take a Chance 3 Challenge; TwentyEleven Challenge
Yearly Count: 31
First Line: “Sir?” she repeats. “How soon do you want it to get there?”
Blurb: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself – a truth he never wanted to face.
Review: I waited for what seemed like forever waiting on the wishlist over at PaperBackSwap for this book. To put it the best way I can think of: this book was worth the wait. For real. This book was so haunting. Some points really resonated with me. Not being that far removed from high school (okay, well, 8 years), I know what those years were like. I remember them. Vividly. I was in Hannah Baker’s shoes when I got stood up at the movies (although technically her date showed up, eventually). I was somewhat of an outcast my junior year. I lost almost all my friends that year. Over something really stupid that I still can’t really put my finger on … but boy, do I still remember the one person who was at the center of the whole debacle. Ugh. I have my own Valentine Day memory like Hannah had hers, although mine wasn’t over a survey – although we did have those surveys! So I really related to Hannah’s character. Although I myself never considered suicide, I can understand the pain that this character went through when no one else was even aware. I was there. I felt some of that pain. I think that this book should be required reading for all young adults. High school can be brutal, and people suffer. A lot of the time others aren’t even aware of the pain and suffering that some people are going through. To read this book in a classroom I think could really open up some great discussions. I wish our high school had had a Peer Communications class like this fictional high school had. That would have been a wonderful class to experience. Overall, I simply cannot say enough good things about this book. I read it as quickly as I could. It sucked me in immediately.