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13 Reasons Why Paperback – March 7, 2017
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When Clay Jenson plays the casette tapes he received in a mysterious package, he's surprised to hear the voice of dead classmate Hannah Baker. He's one of 13 people who receive Hannah's story, which details the circumstances that led to her suicide. Clay spends the rest of the day and long into the night listening to Hannah's voice and going to the locations she wants him to visit. The text alternates, sometimes quickly, between Hannah's voice (italicized) and Clay's thoughts as he listens to her words, which illuminate betrayals and secrets that demonstrate the consequences of even small actions. Hannah, herself, is not free from guilt, her own inaction having played a part in an accidental auto death and a rape. The message about how we treat one another, although sometimes heavy, makes for compelling reading. Give this to fans of Gail Giles psychological thrillers. Dobrez, Cindy --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
“Heavy but compelling. . . . Asher’s novel asks us to look at how petty cruelty can deal crushing blows.” —Miami Herald
“Wonderfully realistic in his writing, Asher offers teens and parents alike a great story on an important topic.” —Green Bay Press-Gazette
“It is a brilliant debut that will leave readers feeling a sense of remorse for Hannah, guilt for Clay, and hope for the lasting lesson of the story.” —Bookazine
“Breakneck pace and dizzying emotion.” —School Library Journal
“[Hannah’s] pain is gut-wrenchingly palpable. . . . Asher has created an entrancing character study and a riveting look into the psyche of someone who would make this unfortunate choice. A brilliant and mesmerizing debut from a gifted new author.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review and Editor’s Choice
“Readers won’t be able to pull themselves away.” —Publishers Weekly
“Asher's ability to convey the anguish of someone who was left behind is truly remarkable.” —Book Page
Association of Booksellers for Children’s “Best Books”
American Library Association’s “Best Books for Young Adults” and “Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers”
Heartland Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature
Florida Teens Read Award
California Book Award
Kentucky Bluegrass Award
Book Sense Pick
International Reading Association’s “Young Adults' Choices” Finalist
Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best Books”
Kansas State Reading Circle’s “Recommended Reading List”
New York Public Library’s “Book for the Teen Age”
16 State Award Master Lists
“Thirteen Reasons Why is a mystery, eulogy, and ceremony. Twenty or thirty times, I snapped the book shut when a sentence, an image, or a line of dialogue was too beautiful and painful. But I, afraid and curious, would always return to this amazing book. I know, in years to come, I will often return to this book.” —Sherman Alexie, bestselling author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
“Every once in a while you come across a book that you can’t get out of your mind, one you have to rush back to if you must put it down for some reason. Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those books, and is at the very top of my personal Must-Read list.” —Ellen Hopkins, bestselling author of Tricks, Identical, Crank, Burned, Impulse, and Glass
“A spectacular first novel. Jay Asher tells his story with such honesty and simplicity that the tragedy feels shatteringly real.” —Gordon Korman, author of Son of the Mob and Jake, Reinvented
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Top Customer Reviews
It's not often something moves me and makes me think. Thirteen Reasons Why is a show and a book I haven't been able to get out of my mind.
Hannah Baker, a high school student has committed suicide leaving devastation in her wake. As in all suicides, questions are asked, motivations questions, but Hannah has left thirteen tapes to explain why she took her own life.
The story starts with Clay Jenson, who receives the tapes and is thrown into the world of Hannah from her own point of view.
Issues such as slut-shaming, teen angst, bullying, alienation, and sexual assault are explored. Some of the reasons why Hannah took her life appear petty in isolation, but as a whole there's a snowball effect (as Hannah herself states) that leads to a tragic outcome.
I've read other reviews and this, to me, seems to be a book you either love or hate. The show and book gave me the opportunity to open my mind. As a parent I had some conversations that were long overdue.
This is a gritty, at times, uncomfortable read. There are parts that felt melodramatic, but overall, this is a book that I'll never forget.
Note: There may be a few spoilers in my list, but none of my comments will ruin the book for you.
1. It’s a page turner, to the max. I was laughing at myself while I was reading it because I couldn’t put it down. My husband told me that I need to stop reading so fast, and here I am reading this book like it’ll disappear by the end of the night.
2. I love that even though the book has a mostly serious tone, it still made me laugh from time to time. Hannah likes to put jokes in her tapes to keep the listeners on their toes. They may not find the jokes funny, but I do.
3. I read this book in a time span of 25 hours; stopping to sleep, tutor, clean the house, exercise, and eat.
4. Boys and girls can relate to this book. Who wasn’t bullied in middle school/high school? Even the “cool” kids are harassed. No one is comfortable in their own body at that age, no matter how much they tell you they are.
5. The map that Hannah provides of the town is a really cool idea. Although the journey towards her death is sad, I felt so attached to her character as I traveled with Clay to each place that was important in her story.
6. You can listen to the tapes that Hannah has recorded here, which makes the whole book even creepier. The tapes are not word for word, like in the book, but they are a great addition to the novel, especially if this is a book that a class is reading in school. The tapes can be played the next day after the students have read a chapter the night before.
7. It is a suspense novel. Of course, when the novel begins, or even before you open it, you know that Hannah commits suicide, it tells you this on the back cover, but you don’t know why or how. This is what keeps the pages turning; this is what kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading it.
8. As I was reading Hannah’s story, even though I knew she was dead, I kept thinking, “Well, maybe she isn’t. Maybe she will be alive in the end.” I had hope for Hannah, I had to have hope or I would have just cried the whole time.
9. Clay is so endearing. I just wanted to tear him from the pages and give him a huge hug. He wanted to help Hannah so bad and he was/is so in love with her. It pains me to think that he is going to have to live with Hannah’s final words in his mind forever.
10. I don’t know about you but when I read, I like to know how many pages I have until the next chapter starts, especially when I start to get tired. Since each chapter had a black, thick line on the first page of the chapter, I could clearly identify while looking on the outside of the book when the next chapter started. This was helpful!
11. The diner in the book is called “Rosie’s Diner.” My name isn’t used very often in books/movies/anywhere really, but I feel special when it is used.
12. I like how this story showed a different side to bullying. Not the typical, “Everyone is mean to me and no one talks to me.” It was more harassment and rumor starting kind of bullying, making Hannah feel uncomfortable and unsafe, wherever she went. People may not consider this bullying, but it is.
13. This is a good book for girls and guys. I am impressed that Jay Asher was able to pick up the voice of a female character as well as he did and make her sound so real and emotional.
This review, plus additional information, is posted in my blog.