Monday, May 9, 2011

Review of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Published by: Razorbill
Pages: 288
Source: Audiobook from Library
Rating: 4.5/5

From GoodreadsJay Asher's brilliant first novel is a moving, highly original story that focuses on a set of audiotapes made by a girl before she committed suicide, and which explain to 13 people the reasons why she decided to end her life. Told in a highly effective duel narrative -- alternating between the girl s voice and the thoughts of a boy who is listening -- this honest, poignant story reveals how other people's actions shape, and by extension can ruin, an individual's faith in people. Intensely powerful and painfully real, Thirteen Reasons Why reveals how brutal high school can be, the consequences of spreading rumors, and the lasting effects of suicide on those left behind.

The idea of this novel haunted me even before I picked it up.  I mean how freaky would that be to receive tapes from a deceased girl talking about how each person affected her life and in turn her death.  Yikes!!! 

The first thing I noticed when listening to this novel is how much I like Clay.  I felt he was the kind-hearted, good guy and I was really confused why he was receiving these tapes.  It felt almost like he was being punished.  He seemed to care so much for Hannah and these tapes were just hurting him.  I think he was the perfect narrator for this story.  He helped us the most to understand Hannah and all of her situations than anyone else would have.   

Hannah was an interesting character.  At first I was really upset with her.  I felt she was blaming people for her suicide and I didn't really understand, but then I really listened and I was heart-broken.  I don't think people realize how much teasing, bullying and rumors hurt people.  I very much believe that a person can be hurt so much more emotionally (especially in high school) then they usually are physically.  I think some high-schoolers (and people in general) are a bit selfish and tend to think only of themselves and not about how their actions effect others. 

I highly recommend this novel mostly as a way to understand Hannah's story and others who may be like her.   


  1. Thanks for the review Lisa !! I look forward to read this book now ;)

  2. I loved this novel when I read it last year. Like you, I was confused as to why Hannah gave Clay the tapes, when he never hurt her...came off as a little selfish to me. Overall, I thought this was a great conversation starter for teens regarding the impact of their words and actions.

  3. I first read this book when it came out. I was blown away by it and recommended that a teacher friend read it. She read it and recommended it to her students. There is such a problem with bullying and this book was very well written for teens, and I might add - adults.

  4. This is such a good book and has so many meaningful lessons for kids (and adults!). It's also a story that sticks with you long after you close the cover. Great review!

  5. Nice review. I really enjoyed this book.

  6. I'm listening to this right now! And I completely know what you mean about Clay. He seems so sweet so I'm really curious as to why he got the tapes.
    Great review :)

  7. Hi! New follower here! Found your blog via book blogs!

    I have read this book before and I can honestly agree with your opinion. It's quite haunting, chilling and devastating but sweet at the same time. I read this very quickly! Also know what you mean about Clay. I thought he was a great character.

    Looking forward to checking out some of your other reviews.

  8. Great review. Love Sarah Dressen. One of my favourites is Lock and Key! Really can't wait to get my hands on this book. Thanks!

  9. Lisa, Lucky you to score an ARC! Your review is right on target! I bought a copy the first day it was out (and devoured it! YUM!) and plan to donate my copy to the middle school library where I volunteer. I know all the girls will want to read it! :)

  10. I agree. This book was absolutely heart breaking. I cannot wait to read more from Asher. Anyone who can take a story like this and do it justice is brilliant and deserves to be read.


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