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13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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Thirteen Reasons Why

No one ever knows why someone commits suicide. That is unless they left reasons behind. Clay Jensen narrates the incredible story in Thirteen Reasons Why of Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide. Even though this book sounds like a mystery, it is more of a friendship/ relationship type book. The author, Jay Asher, illustrates how a small insignificant event can become the start of the bane of someone’s life.

A few weeks after Hannah Baker’s suicide, Clay Jensen is surprised to find a package of tapes on his front steps. He is in high school, and lives in a regular town where strange packages are rare. The package is simple and lacks a return address. He takes out the thirteen tapes and starts to listen to them only to discover that it’s the voice of Hannah explaining why she killed herself. As he listens the tapes expose different people who had done wrong to Hannah. Whether it be making up rumors about her, or taking away all of her privacy. Each tape revolves around one person, and you are to send the tapes to the person who comes after you in her story. Clay cannot imagine where he will end up in the tapes and forces himself to listen and learn about all of the pain she felt. By the end he discovers that he too is to blame.

Even though this book was depressing, I had trouble not finding it interesting. It was written in a strange and sometimes confusing manner in which the voice on the audio tapes was italicized, and the narrator’s voice is regular. It became confusing when I would get really deep into a story and then read Clay’s thoughts thinking they were her words. Other than that the only down side is how guilty I felt after reading it. I felt like I had done something to this girl and been another reason for her suicide. This book is similar in some ways to the book Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes in which the girl must read letters from her dead grandma in order after completing some task. In both books the narrators are going learning about the lives of lost ones. Overall this book was fascinating and eerie at the same time.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It is non-gender specific and relates to many different types of people. It is also a quick read for those who have trouble getting into a book. One thing that may be hard for some people is that you have to remember details in order for it to make sense at the end. Although once tied up, this girl’s unfortunate life makes for a very interesting book that keeps pulling the reader in.





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