Thirteen Reasons Why
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.
This story is one of those tales that will tear at your heart. I selected this book purely on a recommendation (more on that in a bit) so I didn’t know much about it other than it was about a girl who committed suicide and the tapes she sent one guy from her school. And the guy, Clay, seems like a nice, stand up kid. The kind of boy I’d like my girls to date when they’re older. So as the story unfolds and you realize that these tapes are for the people who are connected to Hannah’s reasons for committing suicide, it doesn’t make much sense.
But eventually it does. Tape by tape, Hannah, or rather the author, Jay Asher, shows us how insidious the little hurts in high school can be, especially when they pile up on an already emotionally frail girl.
What I liked about this book was that there was little apologizing. The people in it, including Hannah, were stripped bare, shown with good and bad points, showing that there’s a little bit of light and dark in all of us. I also enjoyed the modified, or perhaps modernized, epistolary form of the tapes, which allowed both Clay and the reader to remain so close to Hannah, despite the fact that she’s dead before the book even begins.
This is an amazing book, albeit profoundly depressing at points, simply because it is so emotionally true.
I’m so lucky to be friends with a lovely woman named Greta a.k.a erikasbuddy! She’s the person who recommended this story to me and I’m so happy that we’re friends on Goodreads (among other places) because she’s always recommending books to me that are outside of what I normally read but that I absolutely adore. So a super-huge thank you to Greta!!!
Finally, I hope it doesn’t sound hokey, but between this book and what I’ve been seeing in the news as of late, I feel obliged to offer up the following information again. Please, if you see someone in pain, if you see anyone with the warning signs…save a life and help prevent suicide. As this book eloquently points out, sometimes a simple word of kindness can be the difference between life and death. Share the love!
is an inspiring advocacy site that brings real world voices
to the issues of depression and suicide.
Now go and get lost…in a book!
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