Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 8, 2010
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Hannah Baker is dead and Clay Jensen believes he has lost all chances to hear her voice, to learn more about her...until a package the size of a shoe box appears at his doorstep and inside he finds seven tapes. He begins to listen and what he hears and where he goes will change the way he views his classmates and his town forever.

The premise is Th1rteen R3asons Why is unique and highly addictive with simple, yet descriptive sentences and easy-to-read dialogue. There is a slight overuse of language, yet not so extreme that it engulfs the entire story.

Unfortunately, the story itself is entirely unrealistic. As I read, Hannah's dialogue continued to irritate me, since no person I have ever met, including my English-Lit editor, speaks as if they are reading a novel. It seems to me that Jay Asher spent most of writing time attempting to stay within the rules, instead of writing Hannah's narration realistically.

In my opinion, all though not unheard of, I find it very unlikely that Hannah was able to muster enough-oh what's the word?-stability, I guess, to sit down and record seven tapes explaining why she did what she did. And also, how she was able to do it without anger. She never once seemed angry on the tapes. She got annoyed and even hot-headed, if you will, but never once got angry. This makes the novel, in my personal opinion, unrealistic, since the novel was written to be a story of realism.

Don't get me wrong, in the four days I read this novel, I could hardly put it down. It is incredibly addictive and a good, easy read.

But at the same time, I was annoyed throughout the book, as I read, at the un-realism of it all.

So, if you're looking for an easy, intriguing read, pick up Th1rteen R3asons Why; but if you're like me and, from a realistic fiction novel, are searching for realism, don't bother.

The novel is somewhat of a 21st century version of “Much Ado About Nothing”. Parents may wish to be cautious of this novel for middle schoolers.

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alice_swim_n_skate This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 28, 2013 at 7:33 pm
Interesting point of view. I guess I had never looked at it that way. From someone who has read this book more times than she would like to admit, I could see how the dialogue could seem... overly proper. However, I imagined that she wrote out what she was going to say prior to making the tapes in order to make sure she got out everything that she wanted to say and a lot people write more properly than they would speak. Just food for thought.  I do agree with you on the idea that she may ... (more »)
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 29, 2013 at 10:15 am
That is a good point. I once read that you should write how you speak, but I don't know anyone who does that! I know that I write much better than I speak, so it makes sense that she may have written it out before hand. And yeah, the book just never struck me as realistic. Which is a shame, because I went into the book expecting to love it! Thanks for your comment!
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