Monday, October 30, 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher (Review)

29844228Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Genres: Young Adult Fiction
Publication date: 
December 27th 2016 

Publisher: Razorbill
Format: hardcover, 352 pages
How I got it: My public library
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 4/5 


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 returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. 

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
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My thoughts:

This book follows Clay who gets tapes from Hannah, a girl who recently committed suicide from his class.  Clay had a crush on Hannah and had several interactions with her.  Hannah’s portion of the book is told through tapes and written in her own words in the book.   Clay must listen to all thirteen tapes and then pass them onto the next person on the tapes.  Each tape is dedicated to one person and how they affected Hannah and caused her to commit suicide.

I loved that we could get both Clay’s feelings as a friend and Hannah’s feelings in one book since both had different views.  The author took his time to develop the two characters and bring them both to life.  The views from the two characters also showed how not every person is going to view the same situation the same.  I think it is important that not every event leading up to Hannah’s suicide was a major event in everyone’s lives, but the author did a great job building up the story.   Hannah did a great job explaining how she felt and how it connected to the big picture.  

The author did a great job creating Hannah in my mind.  The emotions that Hannah was experiencing felt real and I felt came through in the book loud and clear.

The author did a great job taking a very challenging topic and making people talk about it.  I liked how the author had Clay open-up to one character about what was going on and how he was feeling.  I find that a challenging piece is finding the right person to talk to who will listen.   I think this should be a book that a lot of people should read and talk about since suicide sometimes can be prevented.   Not every scenario will play out like this, but it does make you think about your actions and words and how they affect others.  Also, it makes you think who is reaching out to you for help.

My one complaint would be that I wish we got a little more out of Clay.  A large portion of the book is dedicated to Hannah and the tapes, with Clay giving small tidbits here and there, but I wanted a little more out of him.

Also, I have not watched the Netflix series yet, but the trailer and the book seem vastly different.  I am not sure how the series does play out on Netflix and can’t wait to watch it.

Also, I think it is key to remember when reading this is a work of fiction.  That I would look at this book for calling attention to a difficult topic. 


I would suggest this as a weekend read.  I found it challenging to put the book down at times, but there were also moments I needed to walk away from it for a few moments.   The book does give you a lot to think about. 

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About the Author



Jay AsherJay Asher was born in Arcadia, California on September 30, 1975. He grew up in a family that encouraged all of his interests, from playing the guitar to his writing. He attended Cuesta College right after graduating from high school. It was here where he wrote his first two children’s books for a class called Children’s Literature Appreciation. At this point in his life, he had decided he wanted to become an elementary school teacher. He then transferred to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he left his senior year in order to pursue his career as a serious writer. Throughout his life he worked in various establishments, including as a salesman in a shoe store and in libraries and bookstores. Many of his work experiences had an impact on some aspect of his writing.

He has published only one book to date, Thirteen Reasons Why, which was published in October 2007. He is currently working on his second Young Adult novel, and has written several picture books and screenplays. Thirteen Reasons Why has won several awards and has received five stars from Teen Book Review. It also has received high reviews from fellow authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Chris Crutcher, and Gordon Kormon.


Author Links:
  

16 comments:

  1. Excellent review! I'm glad you were able to read this book and enjoyed it. I also enjoyed it as well. You're right, I would love it if there were more of Clay. Having only met her for a short time to play a major role in her chain of events is shocking. I have only watched the first episode of the Netflix series. I prefer the book more. I hope you will enjoy it when you get a chance to watch it.

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    1. I agree I would have loved more background on Clay there must be more to him. I need to watch the Netflix series. Thank you for stopping by!

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  2. I watched the Netflix show (most of it), and I am thinking that the book might be better. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I liked the book when I read it but it was a long time ago. I did like the Netflix show a lot. Great review!

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    1. I need to check out the Netflix show. Thank you for stopping by!

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  4. I really loved the Netflix show-- but maybe not AS much as the book. Things were definitely different. I think I need a reread of the book since I read it so long ago to see which one I really do like better :) I'm glad you were able to connect with this book :)

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    1. I need to watch the show now to see how different it really was. Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. I read this a few years ago, and I remember liking it and being pretty moved by it. I haven't watched the show yet, but I want to.

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    1. I felt it was a very moving book too. Thank you for stopping by!

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  6. This is one of those intense novels that I always say I'm going to try, despite it not being my thing. I'm glad you thought the author did a good job with the challenging topics. It's great the story didn't disappoint. :D

    Wonderful review, Kristyn! Have a fantastic week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I feel the author did good with a difficult topic. It is always touch and go with me being intense topics if it isn't handled well. Thank you for stopping by! Have a great week!

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  7. I definitely want to read this one (and watch the show!) but I have been really nervous since it seems like people either really like it or REALLLY hate it. But it seems that you liked it, and I like that it shines light on a tough topic, that is such a good point! I definitely need to make this one a priority! Great review!

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read it. I don't think it was the best thing I ever read, but I do feel the author did a good job with what he had. Thank you for stopping by!

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  8. This was such a great review! I read this years ago, and I recently read it again, and it still gave me all kinds of feels. I haven't seen the show on Netflix yet, and I'm torn between watching it and not, so I'm not sure. This is a really difficult book and I think that the author did a wonderful job with it.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Yes I am torn to I enjoyed the book and don't want it to lose anything.

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