[Review] Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

Title of Book: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Year: 2011
Language: English
Format: paperback
Pages: 288

You can't stop the future. You can't rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret. . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.
Then Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes-- and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.
All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town. . .
. . .and what he discovers changes his life forever.


Thirteen Reasons Why is one of the books that were popular a few years back. Recently this book is popping up again because it’s adapted into a live action series by Netflix. It’s been on my TBR for years but I didn’t pick it up until the series came out.
Clay Jensen found a package on the porch of his house. Inside, there are seven cassette tapes containing thirteen stories from his classmate Hannah Baker, who committed suicide. Clay then spends the night listening to Hannah’s stories while roaming around town recounting events leading up to her death.
As stated clearly before, this book talks about suicide and teen bullying. I was intrigued by this book because I want to know how the author deals with this topic. While I understand how important this book is, I also feel that at the time I was reading it, this book wasn't intended for me. Before I delve more into it, let me give you a bit of a context here. Thirteen Reasons Why is a young adult book with high school students as the characters. I first intrigued by this book back when I was on my first or second year in undergraduate program. But I finally got around to read it years later when I've just graduated from school and am working.
The character in this book, Hannah, was so depressed that she decided to committed suicide. She's depressed because she's in a way bullied by her classmates. Her classmates built a certain reputation of her that wasn't true, which lead to other people mistreated her because of that reputation. See, if I was still in high school, I might relate to that. Those things are what was important to most high school student. But I'm way past high school ( or school in general) and those things are irrelevant for me now. It's difficult for me to relate to the characters in this book to the point that I think Hannah was being mean. Don't get me wrong, I don't invalidate depression, in fact I am struggling. But I'm at the stage in my life where such things aren't as important as work or financial situation; which is why I feel that this book isn't intended for my demographic. For me, it's not the depression or mental illness that is irrelevant, but the cause of it that's presented in this book is. At least that's what I believe.
As for the writing style, I don't like Clay's immediate reaction to Hannah's recording. This book is written as if Clay and Hannah are having conversation with the exception being Hannah's voice came from a recording. Sometimes after a few sentences from Hannah, Clay gave an immediate reaction to those particular sentences. I don't like it because Clay's reaction is often unnecessary and don't add anything to the story. It's even annoying sometimes since it detached me from Hannah's narrative.
All in all, Thirteen Reasons Why is not the book for me personally. Had I read it when I was younger, I probably would relate to it more. If you're a student and you're struggling, remember you're not alone. Also, try reading this book. It could be what you need.

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