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Thirteen Reasons Why Paperback – June 14, 2011
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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
This book was written in the first person, but since Clay is listening to Hannah's voice, you get both first person perspectives simultaneously. You get an immediate reaction from Clay to Hannah's stories, which is a refreshing storytelling style. Usually if you have a story being told by more than one person, you have to wade through one chapter first before finding out how the other person is feeling. Hannah's voice also come through loud & clear. Since all she is doing is talking she is more descriptive of her feelings, than her actual surroundings. You can actually hear her voice going soft, or shouting in rage. You grieve for a girl you don't even know because you get to know her at a visceral level. As for Clay, you cry alongside him for everything that could've been, his grief for losing a girl he loved, his guilt over his actions or lack of actions, & his anger & his empathy for the others on the tape.
In conclusion: read this book! Its well-written, emotionally cathartic, & just compelling. Just make sure you have some tissues on hand for the inevitable tears.
This book came recommended to me, with a lot of hype as to how great it was. With that in mind, I guess I expected something more from Hannah's tapes. This is not a bad book, don't get me wrong. I just felt it didn't live up to the expectations that came along with it. You know like with a movie where everybody talks about how great it was, and you finally see the movie, and it was good, but not THAT good? That's kind of what happened with this book. I did enjoy the book. I have read a fair amount of young adults book (as a mother in her mid forties), and this book made me feel like I was reading a young adult book. It made me feel like I shouldn't be reading it. Like I was reading a young girls diary, that was very private, and I had no business reading. Maybe that's a sign of a good author, to make me feel like the book was that up close and personal? But I did come away thinking that this book was generally for a younger generation than my own. And thinking back it was a younger generation that recommended the book so highly. So maybe age has something to do with the liking of the book? Just a thought.
The book was written as a double narrative, which I did find confusing at times. That took some getting used to.
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