Calico Reaction (calico_reaction) wrote in bookish,
Calico Reaction

Asher, Jay: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why (2007)
Written by: Jay Asher
Genre: YA/Fiction
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)

The premise: ganked from 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.

My Rating

Buy the Paperback: this is a controversial book, because suicide can be a controversial subject. No doubt, the novel spreads a positive message, but there are negative counterparts that could overshadow the positive. So know what you're getting into with this book: it's about a girl who, before killing herself, sent out a stack of tapes to the people she feels contributed to her state of mind that resulted in her suicide. The book is told from the POV of one of those people, listening to those tapes. It's a very fast read, and the prose is almost too sparse (what do you expect when half is literally story-telling), but it gives the reader a lot to think about. On the positive side, it teaches us that being decent to one another is a good way to live, because we never know how our actions will effect them. On the negative side, I worry that some people might see Hannah as a hero instead of what she is, a girl who really, really needed help to get out of her depressed state of mind and who never got it. I'm glad I read it, as it had me thinking about all the different ways the book could be interpreted, and it's worth reading. IF, like I said, you know what you're getting into.

Review style: this book is pretty controversial, and I want to talk about both sides: why it's a GOOD book and sends the RIGHT message, and why it's a BAD book and sends the WRONG message. So yes, spoilers abound. However, if you're not worried about them (or you've already read the book), then feel free to click the link below for the full review, which may be found in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading!


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

February: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
March: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia

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