My Thoughts About Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Book Review #75)

Imagine receiving some audio tapes from a person telling you that you’re one of the reasons why she committed suicide. Totally unnerving, right? But that’s what Clay Jensen, the main protagonist of the book, just experienced.

This book is about the suicide of a high school girl named Hannah Baker and the persons involved in making her decide to do that. On the day that she committed suicide, she mailed out the audio tapes to 13 people telling them that they are the reasons why she committed that act. The book is told through the point of view of Clay Jensen, one of the people who received the tapes and who doesn’t have any idea why he’s included an of Hannah, told through the tapes.

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Aside from the tapes, Clay also received a map that he mysteriously found in her locker one day without any idea what it is for. The map is of their small town with markings on it. He didn’t know that it was Hannah who put it their for those are the places that he has to go while listening to the tapes to better understand her reasons. Clay is confused as they didn’t know each other well aside from making out with Hannah at a party and being a workmate at a cinema house. Clay has feelings for Hannah, despite all the rumors that he’s hearing about her, and he never would do anything to hurt her. He believes it was a mistake that he’s included in the mailing list. At first, Clay wanted to shrug it off and telling himself that it’s just a prank but Hannah has threatened that the tapes will be made public by someone with a second copy of the tapes if her instructions won’t be followed. Hannah’s instructions are clear: Clay is to listen to the tapes to find out why he’s included in the list, then he is to mail them to the next person on a list of 13 names. Clay begun his journey the afternoon he received the tapes and he’s about to find out the 13 reasons she chose to take her life and the reason his name was included.

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.”
― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

Clay’s Journey through the town will lead him to know Hannah more and the unhappy incidents that lead her to suicide. There’s betrayal, bullying, some of it is sexual and rumors that ruined her belief and trust to people. She’s left with no one to turn on and those that she’s expecting to be with her were not as supportive as how she expected them to be. Then when she’s slowly sending signals that she’s about to commit suicide, nobody noticed it. While he works through the tapes and the map he finds himself drawn in and think about his actions and how they hurt Hannah.

I’m happy that I have already read this book. I thought that this book is just about a whiny brat girl that committed suicide because she can’t get what she wants and she’s blaming the people around her. But this book dig deeper than that. It’s not just about a girl not getting what she wants but a girl who was not able to get what she wants because of complex external circumstances. Hannah’s foundation is not strong and it was easily shaken by external forces that she has no control of. She has nobody to lean on, to talk to and discuss her issues. And when she’s already drifting away, nobody was there to hold her to pull her life back together.

Jay Asher’s first book is masterfully done I must say. I like how the author was able perfectly connect Hannah and Clay’s worlds. With Hannah through his voice in the tapes and with’s Clay’s reactions and reflections while he listens to it through his headphones. The writing is so sincere that I was able to fully immerse myself to the emotions that the characters are feeling.

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”
― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

The pacing and the writing style helped me finish the book quickly. The author writes with fluidity and it’s hard to put down. It’s spontaneous and will take the readers to a ride of suspense and revelations. The author used simple yet creative writing style. By doing that the author became successful in bringing up the raw emotions of the characters. It’s just that sometimes it’s hard to keep track of the events in the book because there are a lot of things happening especially on parts where Clay and Hannah’s voice interchange and also the number of characters are a lot which I had issues keeping track.

Despite being a book about suicide, this book is not all too depressing. Yes, there are sad parts but majority of the book is more of the author wanting the readers to realize their actions towards others. Suicide and death is not usually a theme among teenage books but the author successfully delivered the message through. The books lessons is not at all too preachy in delivering its message. The message is infused in the lines and the actions of the characters. It emphasizes the importance of speaking up and being sensitive enough to the needs of others.

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This book tackles issues of bullying, peer pressure, stalking and sexual abuse which most of the teens of today are facing. I recommend this book to teens to make them realize the importance of their actions towards others. Each person has their own kind of personality and the way they handle problems. Each of us should be aware of that before inflicting pain to others. The book talks about the importance of kindness and inaction.

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”

― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

The book is not just about Hannah pointing fingers to those on the tapes but more of appealing for these people to reconsider their attitude towards other people. I understand her weakness. We all have different ways of coping up. We have our own ways of getting around our problems and some have a much harder time dealing with it.

Overall, the book is a compelling and realistic read. It is an eye-opener as it will make you look back with your actions. It’s also totally heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. It’s one of the books that you’d want to share to others.

4 stars out of 5.

BOOK SPECIFICATIONS:

Author: Jay Asher
Format: Trade Paperback
Part of a Series: Standalone
Release Year: June 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
No. of Pages: 288 pages

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12 thoughts on “My Thoughts About Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Book Review #75)

  1. Oh my. I have to have this book. It sounds like something I could really relate to. One of my friends committed suicide and uptil that point everyone thought she was trying to seek attention with her depressed social media posts. I didn’t know because I had muted her posts (candy crush updates).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! I found your blog in a comment in a Fully Booked FB post, and I now love it if only because of this post. I loved Thirteen Reasons Why but I couldn’t put it into words. So thank you for this! Will be coming back here sometime soon 😉

    Like

    1. Thank you for dropping by Ms Kristine. 🙂 Inspiring other people to read is one of my major goals when I started this blog. I just posted the 16 Books I am Excited to Read this 2016. Maybe we have some books in common that we can buddy read. 🙂

      Like

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