Book #40: Thirteen Reasons Why

Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why, (2007), 252p

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

This book is incredibly dark. I mean, I know, what should I expect from something that is written after the suicide of a teenage girl. But it was dark and haunting and really affected my mental state while I was reading it.

Asher’s novel is one that has been on my radar since I started reading teen fiction. It was the one I really wanted to read when I read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock instead. Mostly because TRW had holds on it and FM,LP didn’t. I was browsing around for ebooks one night and, for once, TRW didn’t have holds. Gasp!

Clay Jensen, a cute, normal, keener high school student, comes home from school one day and finds a box filled with cassette tapes on his doorstep. These aren’t mixed tapes, though; they are the final thoughts of Hannah Baker, his crush and former classmate who has recently taken her own life. Through the tapes, Clay learns the thirteen real reasons that led to Hannah’s suicide.

Some of the reasons may seem trivial, yes. But I really think that Asher captures the mental state of a teenage girl: worrying about her reputation, hiding her true thoughts, screaming out for someone to care. Being a teenager sucks. It sucked for me. It sucks for most people. I have seen too many reviews ripping into this book. But honestly, if it can open a dialogue for even one person, what’s the harm?

2015 Reading Challenge: this one, too, could have fit into a few catalogues. I’m filing it under “A book set in a high school”.

Happy reading –
Laurie