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Thirteen Reasons Why Paperback – June 14, 2011
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“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
About the Author
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The story revolves around Clay, who finds a box of cassette tapes waiting on his doorstep one day. As he listens to them, he is drawn into the story of Hannah, his crush that committed suicide just a couple weeks earlier. The tapes share the thirteen reasons why she made the choice that she did, one for each person that contributed to that decision.
On the surface, it sounds like a horrifying premise for a read. It is a tough read at times, but no less important. Her point of creating the tapes, to be passed to each person on them, was not to be cruel. It was to make a point... the point that how we act toward one another, whether deliberate or not, makes a difference. Any one of those acts can be small in and of itself, but they can add up to push a person over the edge.
Having seen the series and read the book, I have to say something I never thought I would. As much as I loved the book, I felt that the series really showed Hannah's angst just a bit more clearly. Admittedly, some of that was accomplished through changes in the plot and some details. Ideally, I would suggest indulging in both.
On the other hand, we do need to open this discussion to teens, but I just don't feel that the impact of this young girls suicide was portrayed as the immensely life ruining action for her friends and family that it should have been. Again, I'm just not sure this is the right book to impact the topic to teens as the devastating event that it is for all concerned. That being said, as a 43 year old adult who looks back on the days of high school and rumors and their impact on young people, I found the book to be representative of that deep hurt and troubling period for so many young people. This is a good read and a very page-turning, gotta know more, type of book. I would normally say "I enjoyed this book" but given the subject matter, I can't say I "enjoyed" it but I was drawn in deeply to the characters and the story and read it in one day (if you don't count reading half one day and half the next - it was really just one day of reading.) I thought the characters were well created, the book kept a great building pace, and the subject matter was impactful. FOR ADULTS (or well grounded, mature, and rooted teens) this was a very good read.
Top international reviews
So here's the story in short. Hannah Baker commited suicide but before doing so she left seven tapes which contains her history or I'll say it contains 13 Reasons Why she killed herself.
This book is so close to the reality I hardly realized it is a fiction. But truly how we treat others definitely affect their lives. It'll also give some lesson to the reader.
If you are watching the series but didn't read the book I'd suggest you should read it. Not every day someone write something like this.
And about the book quality, it'll worth your money.
I would say this book is aimed more at a a YA audience than adult. I did at times get muddled between Clay's narration & Hannah's, but this wasn't a major issue. Glad I read the book, but I wish I had read it before watching the show. That way I could have fallen in love with the book first, then appreciated the show for it's adaption opposed to the other way around. Nevertheless, still a good read with such an individual story highlighting the importance of discussion around a traditionally taboo topic.
Plus also watch the TV series.
This book is less graphic than the show so the parents can relax.
I have not been disappointed by doing this at all. The book is relatable to both teenagers and adults through the harshness of a high school setting. We've all experienced or are experiencing some of the things that happen in this book and it is a stark reminder that we should take more care of how we treat those around us.
That a museum audio tour led to this format can be recognised as you read, it feels familiar and nostalgic. The format also dictates the pace of the book. It feels unstoppable when needed and it builds suspense when it was right too. It felt as though we were experiencing the tapes along with Clay in real time. The format also feels respectful of the subject matter. It's private, internal, special and just that little bit out of touch.
Hannah's words are realistically teenage but they're also insightful and mature. Clay's innocence and kindness sit perfectly next to his discomfort, embarrassment and inability to verbalise his experience. It's authentic in that respect.
Each reason to Hannah were linked by the snowball effect. It took her some time to put it together, to see the links and patterns but once she had they just kept on coming, burying her, freezing her. To those around her they were single incidents, meaningless occurrences that are part of life and growing up. They were secrets that no one knew she was a part of and they were events that those involved viewed very differently because they just didn't know each other well enough to see the other person's pain. There are a devastating number of close calls, near misses and wasted opportunities as there so often are in suicides. It's heartbreaking to hear Hannah's truth but it's necessary and powerful.
I cannot wait to start the Netflix series. It won't be as good as the book, obviously but I can't let go of Hannah just yet. I need a second chance.
It brings attention to mental health and suicide and I think that any book that does that is a positive. It serves as a good reminder that there are so many people with mental health issues who are scared to speak up and instead they self sabotage themselves. Just saying hello to someone could make their day.
However the book is really good and I was intrigued and captivated all through.
It's the first book I've read about a suicidal lead and I love how original the plot is (at least to me).
Especially for someone who has considered suicide on several occasions, if this book taught me something, it's to not be too quick to giving up. Although everything is just awful, the people around are most likely unaware of the damage they do and the way it actually affects us. Not everyone is a monster.
Throughout the book, all Hannah's reasons made a lot of sense to me, coming from.someone who knows all about awful school experiences and sadly enough, reflects on how EVERYONE can stop a suicidal person. all it takes is someone bold enough to listen and show they care and that we're not alone. Clay would have done that, I'm sure, had he been a little bolder and more determined(although I completely understand the reasons he didn't step up and it's unfair to say he could've done more), but isn't that why most commit suicide? Because someone, or anyone, could have done more.
This book inspires to live less in our heads and be aware that any of our actions can create a snowball effect. and most importantly, we need to TALK about these feelings
The other character are not 2 dimensional though, and as you learn their stories it is hard not to feel sympathy for all involved. I can't wait for the second series.
Teenager Hannah Baker commits suicide, supposedly randomly. However one evening Clay Jensen discovers the box of tapes that record Hannah's reasons for ending her life.
There are 13 recordings involving 13 people who are "responsible" for Hannah's death and Clay is one of them. Clay has to listen to her voice through the night in order to understand how he is involved and to discover who he must pass the tapes onto next. Following the map she had left him, he spends the evening travelling around their town to the various places that events took place; all the events that led up to her death.
Clay has to deal with everything he learns, about the people around him and about Hannah, and sees life totally different when completed.
I've read some mixed reviews debating the glorification of suicide in this novel; that Hannah's reasons are petty and stupid etc.
I disagree with this mindset. Yes, Hannah's reasons got a little annoying and if she had just talked to someone then it could've been prevented. BUT, when someone is depressed and suicidal, the tiniest of things can push them over the edge so I don't think that's a reason to hate this book.
The format was executed brilliantly; switching from Clay to Hannah as he listened to her tapes. We discovered Hannah's reasons as Clay did and as he travelled around the town.
I will be honest and say I thought I'd love this book more than I did. I enjoyed it and wanted to discover her reasons but I felt it lacked a shock factor or a punch. Hannah had numerous reasons as to why she killed herself, but they were all pretty small and disconnected in some way. They all added up to pushing her over the edge but by the end I just didn't feel much sympathy for Hannah. I did like her honesty and raw emotion that was portrayed on the tapes though.
I would recommend this book to young-adults. It is definitely an original and intriguing read, filled with suspense and emotion. I had no major issues with the story and enjoyed the read overall!
And that's the thing that I loved about this book. Hannah's explanation of why. To some, the reasons may seem mediocre or even a little ridiculous but for me they were enlightening. As the back story unfolded and I saw how one little action committed by one person led to the series of following events, I couldn't help but think of my classmate. Imagine he'd left a note behind, listing every single person responsible for his decision. How would the people on that list have felt? Knowing that one day, somehow, something they did led to the loss of a life?
And as Clay internally fought with Hannah's voice, as he stated numerous times 'this isn't fair', I found myself doing the same. Nobody deserves to feel as though they don't belong on this earth or in anyone's life. Nobody deserves to feel so unloved, so alienated that death appears to be a better alternative.
One of the lessons I've learned from this is that we should never fail to show the people in our lives that we are there. No matter how difficult they're being, no matter how frustrated you become, never let them feel as though they're fighting alone.
I've never read a book like this before, the concept was so unique and I loved every single second of it. It's definitely a new favourite.