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on March 14, 2010
The book is heartbreaking and really enlightening. Every seemingly small gesture or action by another person in Hannah's life led to her suicide. While the ultimate subject, suicide, is depressing, there is a lot to learn from this book. The offhanded jokes, comments and labels that we throw out so thoughtlessly can snowball into a huge mess and we need to realize the power we have in each other's lives. What is that phrase? "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." We need to stand up when we see wrongs and we need to take the risk & reach out when we see people in pain.
I loved the book because of its message and am really glad that it was geared toward teens. They need to get that message more than any other age group that I can think of.
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on April 23, 2011
Clay gets a mysterious package in the mail. It's a box containing old-fashioned cassette tapes. Hannah, a girl who recently committed suicide, recorded the tapes shortly before her death. On them she lists her reasons for killing herself, and Clay is one of her reasons. Clay listens with sadness, anger, and shock as Hannah recounts how thirteen people hurt her in some way, causing her to stop caring about her existence.

The novel is suspenseful. As Clay plays each tape, I was waiting for the tape that would reveal his connection to Hannah's suicide. This book is sad and depressing, but in a good way. When a book, movie, or song touches me deeply it accesses emotions that I normally don't feel. And all this from a debut author! Asher is an amazing writer. Hats off to him.
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on April 6, 2015
In the beginning, I was frustrated with the main character. I give the author credit though for changing my mind and helping me take a deeper perspective on this topic. I've never been a fan of the teen angst and sensitivity from uncontrolled circumstances; I often enjoy books with good character development. However, the narrator is strong and, by the end of the story, you realize her struggle, and feel more understanding for her-even if you may not condone her actions. After, I began to consider my own life and the small ripples of cause and effect someone could make on another's future. I gave it 3 stars because I may recommend it, and it helped me see a different point of view, but it was still a teen book and just not my usual cup of tea, although really well written.
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on May 7, 2015
This book really has a great message. I loved it. I have lived in a world in high school where it might seem easier to just "go" and leave all the bullies and mean people behind. Luckily for me, I had more strength than Hannah. I loved the way the book was written with the author placing both points-of-view on the same page. I don't think I've ever read a book like that before. I also loved reading, in the end of the book, how he got his inspiration for the story and how he built that into the book it became. I would love to write a novel someday and reading that has made me realize that maybe someday I could. It's definitely sad, but the story it sends, to watch how you treat people because you never know what they are dealing with in their private lives, is a good one.
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on June 2, 2014
I picked out this book for my grandson to read for school. As he started to read it and was telling me about it, I decided to read it as well, giving him more incentive to continue reading (not his favorite pastime). The book sucks you in, right from the beginning, and holds you right there all the way to the end. It also makes one look at the people around them, and be much more aware of these types of situations and bullying that could be happening right in your own neighborhood. Although a sad story, it is definitely a great read, and I will make sure my granddaughter reads it when she becomes a teenager!
p.s. Listening to my grandson and I discuss the happenings in the book also pulled another family member into purchasing the book and reading it as well.
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on June 14, 2011
I really liked this book; however, being a middle school librarian, the message of this novel concerns me. This book is marketed to teenagers, and I kept waiting for the author to pull the main character up ... this never happened. The book gives an adult a look into the teenage mind and how things an adult may perceive as small have a much greater affect on a teenager. The main character travels through the book in a depression, and is almost unaccepting of any help extended to her along the way. In my opinion, the message being sent is there is no hope and the only alternative is to take your life. I believe this is a good read for an adult, and something that might help someone recognize the warning signs. I do not, however, recommend this book for a teenager.
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on July 18, 2012
I am amazed that a book that has struck such a chord in me received such negative reviews. Clearly those people who gave them are lucky enough to have never been bullied or have someone you love commit suicide. I, however, have had both. The author does an amazing job of portryaing what it is like for someone to just give up. All the little things that just add up, and cause someone to lose hope. I can't put this book down and I can't read it without crying. The truth is that you don't need to understand WHY a person feels the way they do, but that they DO FEEL that way. Everyone handles life differently and it doesn't mean their life is less significant because of that. I am starting a non profit against bullying and so far this is #1 on my list. Brilliantly done!!
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on December 12, 2013
I've lived under mental illness, so depression and suicide aren't new topics (especially sense I study psychology.) to my young mind, but I'm not used to seeing the topic used and used correctly, outside my studying. I like how the author pieced together the book, while keeping it interesting he kept it real. I enjoyed the book thoroughly. At some points in the beginning I had some trouble figuring out if Clay was a boy or girl, and that's from the style of the writing so that may just be me. I like how real this book was and didn't shy away from showing reality. It was a page turner, and suspenseful. I liked this book greatly, I recommend this book to people who are looking for a book that is real, and doesn't shy away from "bad" or "taboo" topics.
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on January 8, 2014
The best way for me to describe this book is a love story without a happily ever after. The love that Clay felt for Hannah is just so beautiful. What sucked is that he never got a chance to really be with her. It was shocking when I found out that she loved him back. This book just brought me to feel so many emotions. Depressing yet inspiring emotions. This book just makes me want to go out and help somebody in order for what happened to Hannah to happen to them. I really wish that Clay and Hannah got together but we all must know that life will never be fair. Thirteen Reasons Why definitely deserves five stars. Warning: Once you start reading you wouldn't be able to stop and be aware that certain parts can and will make you cry. I love this story and always will.
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on January 15, 2012
I wanted to love this book. I really, really did. Unfortunately, for me it just didn't live up to the hype. It started out strong and I found the basic premise to be very compelling. However, about halfway through the book I started getting bored. I thought some of the relationships between characters could have been more believable. I also felt like something needed to move the story along more quickly. Something really unexpected needed to happen at that halfway point, and it just didn't. All in all I thought the book was okay. Not terrible, not great. I suppose it's a good read for young adults, to help remind them of the importance of really considering the possible impact of their words and actions... although to me, that message felt a little heavy-handed.
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