Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

July 8, 2010
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
You know it was a good book when you can remember the month you read it, the band you were listening to when you read it, and where you were when you read it. Thirteen Reasons Why was that book for me.

I was thirteen, the month was July, I was listening to Pretty. Odd. by Panic! At the Disco, and I was at the ice rink where I figure skate. But I actually began reading this exceptional novel in the bookstore, where I was so touched but the story that I begged my dad to advance my allowance to pay for it. I began to read it immediately.

The basic premise behind Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is this:

Hannah Baker killed herself by taking too many pills... on purpose. But before her death, she made tapes to tell people all the reasons why she killed herself, and Clay Jensen is one of the reasons. Clay and Hannah didn't even know each other very well. So a curious Clay listens to all thirteen stories that explain why she is dead, and all night Clay wanders his small town, and what he's told will change his whole perspective on life forever.

I was captivated by the plot, which was one that I'd never heard before, even though I've read so many books in my lifetime. I was once the one that felt neglected and, frankly, almost suicidal. This book made me feel like I wasn't alone, even though Hannah was fictional. Clay reminded me of a caring friend, and the story was a convoluted maze of problems and differences of opinions that led to the fateful end of a misunderstood character, and the changed life of another.

In truth, while this wasn't a challenging or overwhelmingly long book, but it hooked me emotionally from the first chapter, and the characters were so real that I could picture them in my head doing all these things. I could hear Hannah's voice on the tapes, with the static of a recorder in the background, and I could picture Clay sitting in at the diner drinking a milkshake while the tapes played.

My final recollection of this story will be an excerpt from the beginning of the book, and hopefully, I'll hook you in as much as it did me.

“Sir?” she repeats. “How soon do you want it to get there?”

I rub my two fingers, hard, over my left eyebrow. The throbbing has become intense. “It doesn't matter,” I say.

The clerk takes the package. The same shoebox that sat on my porch less than twenty-four hours ago; rewrapped in a brown paper bag, sealed with clear packing tape, exactly as I had received it. But now addressed with a new name. The next name on Hannah Baker's list.

“Baker's dozen,” I mumble. Then I feel disgusted for even noticing.

Join the Discussion

This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

BlackHoleHighAlumni This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I didn't really care for the book. Hannah's dialouge drove me crazy...

Great review! Maybe you can check out my review of Th1rteen R3asons Why?

ThisBreRulezYouSonnn said...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 7:12 am
great book, great book, great book! Read it! Read it! READ IT! :)
Gabs(: said...
Aug. 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm
This is my favorite book too ! I read it all in one day i was so hooked !
justwannabeme said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 10:54 am
i had picked up tis book a few times at the book store. but i wasnt sure if i would like it or not. but now i cant wait to get it. your review really hooked me. i was wondering if that author has anymore books? do you know?
IcePrincess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm
Thank you so much!  Um, I haven't found any books from him (I often look at the bookstore), but I dearly hope he writes more because this story mesmerized me from the moment I opened it.
Healing-Angel said...
Jul. 21, 2010 at 3:39 am
I've read this book and didn't like it much, but maybe I'll read it again. Great review. You captured my attention from the start. 
IcePrincess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm
Thanks!  Ya, this is my favortie book, but it doesn't appeal to a lot of my friends so I know where you're coming from.
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback