Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why Review

So I finally got around to reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This book has been around I was in high school and is still on the bestseller list. I see it at work all the time and recently noticed that it is still only available in hardcover and is still featured prominently on a lot of displays around the young adult section. I knew what it was about and it seemed interesting but for whatever reason I never picked it up. Well I just did and maybe it came at a good time or maybe it was a bad time in my life, I am still not sure, but I am glad I read it.

The story starts out with a boy, Clay, who receives a package on his doorstep containing cassette tapes. On those tapes is the voice of Hannah Baker, the girl he had a crush on, and the girl who just committed suicide. The tapes tell 13 stories about 13 different people who ultimately helped her to decide to end her life. As the book progresses, we follow Clay around town to all the prominent locations in Hannah's stories and watch him as he learns and accepts the truth that he may have never known about Hannah.

It is a very moving story and gives readers some insight into how a suicidal teen thinks and how they reached that ultimate decision. There is a lot of symbolism in this book, including obviously the number 13, the color red, and the tapes themselves. The characters in this book are developed beautifully; your heart breaks for some of them, others you loathe. But all are very, very real. The thoughts and actions of the teenagers in the book, from my experience anyway, seem to be spot on. Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those books that for the next few weeks I will consciously think about how everything I say and do can change the lives of others. It puts the reader in the mindset of these people and will hopefully show them how influential simple actions can be.

To sum it up, I am definitely glad I read this book. I would not say it is the most influential book I have ever read but one that I would recommend to any young person looking for perspective in life. I would say about 4 stars, mid-top of the bookshelf. And now I feel the need to go sit and think about my life for a bit.

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