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on October 27, 2016
1 my twelve year old niece had to read for school
2 I read the back and was intrigued
3 the book seemed mysterious
4 the book seemed traumatic
5 the character was a young girl, I was a young girl once
6 it took place during high school
7 I had a tough time in high school
8 I could have been Hannah
9 I didn't end up like Hannah
10 hours interesting to follow clues
11 what is another perspective of those in her life
12 I need to find out who what where when and why
13 holding out hope for a twisted ending
I wasn't disappointed, page turner for sure, finished in 8 hours and am a better person for having read it
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on June 12, 2016
The idea of a book being suspenseful I always thought was ridiculous, and I still do, so don't pay any attention to the book cover. However, I will say this book probably has the best build and overall it is very visual.

The story focuses mostly on the journey which led to a young girl's suicide and you can take it one of two ways:

1. Taking it how the smallest things we say and do can affect a person or 2. How sensitive the world has become to the point where coping and dealing with hardship has been disregarded as an option.

In many ways, this book is very visual and though our sort of guide is a bit too emotional for my taste, to seriously put yourself in his position, listening to the last thoughts and words of a girl you not only cared about, but could have possibly given hope, you by the end will probably understand why he seemingly gets so distraught. Much less remains so even after his name comes up in the tapes.

What is probably the greatest thing about the book is the premise. In case you haven't gotten it yet, a girl creates tapes for those who either pushed her over the edge or could have grabbed her to stop her from falling. Some pushed harder than others and some did more talking than taking hold. In some ways, it makes you reflect on your own life and people you had or do interact with. Not just to see the signs of what shows a person on the brink, but taking into consideration how much of an effect, or affect, you can have even when you are seemingly trying to be nice.

Like with many of the books I've read over the past few weeks, the love interest is the true star while the one who has fallen for them is the one staring from the sides. Thankfully though, Clay's role isn't made to attempt to share this spotlight and for him to be a main character beside her. In a way, he is written by Jay Asher to be someone you are standing beside as Hannah has her one woman show. And rather than be on the side of the stage, you are with Clay in the audience as on stage she takes you on her journey to those final moments.

Overall, I would definitely say to buy it. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a quick read, but that maybe because it is a bit fresh in a way and keeps things from dragging on so you go from one reason to the next, with just enough given to understand that person's affect/effect; but without Hannah or Clay really dragging out the experience.
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on March 22, 2017
I first encountered California author Jay Asher’s book in the college classroom; we were assigned the novel as mandatory reading as part of the Contemporary Young Adult Fiction curriculum I signed up for. Out of all the books I read that semester, from the utterly forgettable Weetzie Bat (what?) by Francesca Lia Block to the strange gay romance Boy Meets Boy by David Leviathan (my only foray into the emerging field of homosexual literature), 13 Reasons Why struck me the deepest, as an emotional rollercoaster of a story. Memorable, haunting, and a serious antidote to the above mentioned silly titles, this book takes its subject matter—the terrible phenomena of teenage suicide—and spins a whirlwind tale on steroids that rivals the best work of other popular YA writers working today.
And how the plot unfolds (a coming of age/mystery/problem novel) and the props used (archaic cassette tapes, of all things) creates a unique, spellbinding teen thriller that will make you sit on edge. As an aside, Netflix is currently adapting the novel as a twisting, turning TV series much like Under the Dome and 11/22/63 were, Stephen King’s recent epic prose dramas. (I’m neither recommending these two stories nor condemning them; that’s your choice).
The story may not be epic in length at only 300 pages, but I nevertheless believe in the possibility of treatment as a big studio film or miniseries material. Fantastic—if it’s done right. And if it’s done with style and taste. 13RW concerns everyday teen, Clay Jenson, forwarding a package at the post office as the story opens. No return address. It contains 12 cassette tapes (what people listened to back in the 1970s and 80s before the advent of compact disks) or what is loathingly referred to as “Baker’s Dozen”—student Hannah Baker’s last will and testament, so to speak, or her final words to everyone who played a role (the 13 reasons why) in her decision to take her own life. Clay discovers his part as he traverses the town in a cruel treasure hunt, learning all the while what a tangled web this seemingly innocent girl has woven. Everyone’s a suspect. And the small town values of Crestmont are only a shallow veneer for all the ugliness and hate lurking within.
Now, I’ve read books and wrote papers on other books similar to this one—most notably Needful Things by Stephen King. So the story attracted me in the sense of This American Town’s Got a Lot of Huge Damaging Secrets very much like the King thrillers mentioned before and above. The twist on this one is that teenagers are involved. A whole new set of variables.
So it’s explosive, attractive, and a super cool premise … but is 13RW good literature? Well that’s a matter of opinion and taste. While the book is very much toned down from the violent and disturbing content of King’s books—Asher’s novel does feature a rather blatant rape scene (similar to the one at the end of Anderson’s teen novel Speak) and suicide as its main overarching theme. The novel does NOT feature many coarse four-letter words, or any gore at all. Good bonus points for kids—like I was—who don’t want or couldn’t handle them, though I endured gratuitous content for years for the sake of great story concepts, in print and in film. I probably shouldn’t have.
So the book does not go too far in those regards, though I’m sure some readers will agree that the subject matter is dense for young people and more adult-oriented, albeit gently woven I to the fabric of the story.
Is the book well-written? (I.e. written in the manner of somebody like Robert R. McCammon, Dean Koontz, Matthew Stover, Richard Paul Evans, or a host of other authors who can write a good lyrical sentence in iconoclastic style, and leave us wanting more. Well … I have a few thoughts.
One of my friends who works as a therapist balked when I told her I liked Jay Asher’s 13RW. We talked about the book which we’d both just finished reading, ironically almost at the same time. This was probably six months ago when I ran into her out on the town. She very plainly said that she “couldn’t stand” the subject of teen suicide being marketed to teens for enjoyment—especially since she had a teenage son at home who still loves to read and reads widely. She said she would not let him sample the book for that reason and one other: the awkward rape scene near the end. Granted, I told her, the episode is brief, and no clinical or explicit language is present. “Still,” she said, “It’s a tough scene and a tough read.”
A final stipulation against liking the novel, she said, is the reading level. “Let’s face it, an elementary schooler could read this.” So I said it had mass audience appeal. No, no, she retorted, “Look.” The sentences are clumsily written, many are short declarative bursts, and there’s almost a sing song cadence about some of the passages. I flipped through the book and realized she had a point. The language is oversimplified, though it contains no grammatical errors that I can catch. The “plain style” front and center.
In other words, the whole phenomenon of 13RW is nowhere near perfect, or even superbly done. It has flaws, maybe numerous ones which even I have not touched on. Like cassette tapes dating the novel to the 1990s, or further back to the 70s. Why not CDs? Why not a playlist?
For the record, Jay Asher was inspired by the show My So-called Life, and the soundtrack, which he listened to while writing.
BUT, nevertheless, I loved the IDEA of it all—the small town, the treasure trove, the labyrinthine mystery and hunt for answers—and am continually mesmerized how this little concept caught on. Perhaps as with bestsellers these days, the premise is bigger than the execution. 13 Reasons Why is not for everyone. Dark and eerie in parts … clever, lush, and suspenseful in others, good or bad, the book was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and translated in over 30 languages, catapulting an unknown author into the limelight.
Would if we unsung struggling writers could be so lucky.
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on May 27, 2016
I love this book.

Trigger warning: suicide

I really felt as though I was attached to Hannah. I wanted to hear her story. I wanted to see what was going through her head that made her want to make this life changing decision. Her story was very relatable which is scary.

It felt like a haunting. I was being haunted by Hannah while she went through and told her very personal accounts to each person that had done her wrong. Not everyone did something horrible. Some had only been in the right place at the wrong time or vice versa, the wrong place at the right time.

Clay seems like a genuine person and I am glad the story is told in his perspective. I feel like I got to know him as well.

This book seems like it could be very important to someone who is struggling. I can't say for sure. I can only tell it how I personally felt while reading. It made a lot of sense. I couldn't put it down. I wish that I could find more books like made me feel a certain way after I finished like this one did. A little shocked, a little bit awed, a little bit uncomfortable. Also relieved.
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on March 13, 2017
Characters are one dimensional and easily forgotton. I only read this because I hear it was going to be a Netflix series.. I think the concept is intriguing but the book fell flat, maybe the show will be better? This is not worth the read. SPOILER- I can sum it up here: Hannah killed herself. Passed tapes to 13 people who gave her the 13 reasons. They are all very small reasons. She goes throughout the book saying no one ever took the time to help her BUT the part that really made me want to throw the book in the trash was when she sat in a closest while a girl she knew got raped... but still gave a tape to the girl as a reason she killed herself. So not only is she blaming a rape victim for why she took her life, she's then making her relive what happened to her.
Not worth the 5$ or 1$ honestly.
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on March 22, 2017
I absolutely loved this book. What an eye opener. In Thirteen Reasons Why we listen to audio tapes that was sent to 13 people by Hannah who committed suicide, to explain her reasons why.

First I want to mention that to all the reviewers who say that her reasons weren't "good enough" for her to kill herself, you're wrong. Everyone doesn't cope with situations the same way, and problems that may seem minimalistic to you, can send the next person into depression. We all have our own ways of working through our issues, and some have a much harder time than others. These were her reasons to commit suicide, which were enough for her, who are we to judge?

Personally I thought it was amazingly done and very realistic. There weren't any embellishments or glorifications, it was true portrayal of teen suicide. We go through the story with Clay while he is listening to Hannah's tapes. The narration goes back and forth between the tapes and what Clay is doing/thinking. I really though this was a great way to pace the story and build up the suspense. And every single page is full of suspense. I really could have stayed up all night reading it.

The story contains a lot of emotions; Intense and raw emotions. We go through them with Hannah as well as Clay, simultaneously. Hearing her tapes makes us realize that our actions, however small, can have a whirlwind of an effect on others. Yes, sending those tapes may have been a little mean. But obviously there was a lot going on with Hannah and she needed to get this out. I don't condone her for it, but I can understand why she thought it necessary.

It's not an easy subject to talk about, and suicide is not something to take lightly. Asher did an amazing job of taking a sensitive subject and writing a very touching, mesmerizing novel.
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on April 9, 2014
Before and after.purchasing/reading this book, I took the time and read both positive and negative reviews. For those readers disgusted with Hannah, I say this: Your disgust and anger may stem from your unwanted ability to relate to her. The characters in this book are present in ALL of our lives. They possess different names and faces. The events in this story told by Hannah and Clay represent varying situations and turning points in all of our lives. For some, the author may have hit a bit too close to home. Many readers trivialized the "Hot or Not Hot" list, believing it to be a blip on this young woman's life radar to which she.simply overreacted. If you fall in that category, you missed the author's point. Completely. This wasn't the case of 13 people/events "making" Hannah commit suicide. Every incident mentioned caused and/or contributed to another incident. A list in and of itself is not a big deal. Of course not. The way in which Hannah's peers RESPONDED to her and TREATED her as a result of her "Best Ass" status were the contributing and instigating factors. These led to secondary and tertiary events...all of which became additional contributions to Hannah's spiral downward.
My heart ached for the lack of adult presence and influence in Hannah's life. For Hannah, adult figures were represented by Mr. Porter and Hannah's parents (whom we were never given the opportunity to meet). This served to highlight the fact that the story is told from the vantage point of two young adults...children, essentially. Two people who live in the 'here and now', for that is what adolescence is all about. Take the time and think back to that period of your life. Life is lived in the day, for the day and felt for that time. If things felt or were good, we wanted that feeling to continue. If life was painful, we wanted the hurt to stop. Immediately. We never imagined our adult selves...married or at 45 years of age...or with teens to call our own. The time was THEN. That is what was important.
If this book isn't a wake-up call for all parents, grandparents, adult siblings, teachers or anyone playing a role in the life of a teenager to become involved, then I don't know what is. It is an adult's responsibility to become familiar with their lives. To take notice. To interpret and deem as important occurrences that compared to our lives, seem trivial. A conquerable molehill to us may be a devastatingly unconquerable mountain for a teenager. Never accept one syllabic responses such as "Good" or "Okay" as adequate when questioning a teen about their day. Pry. Then pry some more. KNOW their friends, not just their names and faces. An adolescent who is morose or disgruntled has reasons for their is easy for us to minimize those times by slapping a label on and calling it "a phase".
If that is done repeatedly and often enough, the outcome can be devastating.
This was delivered by the author. Loud and clear. Thank you, Mr. Asher. Well done.
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on January 24, 2016
The novel Thirteen Reasons Why is a story about a teenage girl named Hannah Baker who recently committed suicide. The only thing she left behind was a box of audio tapes, explaining why she killed herself. These tapes were passed around to the people that she said were the reasons she killed herself. The story is told through Clay Jenson, a teenage boy that went to school with Hannah. Clay never expected he would be on the list, he secretly had a crush on Hannah but barely talked to her. So when he found out he was on the tapes he was crushed. As he listened to the tapes he saw exactly why Hannah did what she did and the more he thought about it, he thought about how he should have tried to help her. As he listens to all of the stories he begins to feel more guilt for not helping when he could have.

I personally thought this book was boring and at times hard to get through. This is due to the fact that the tapes involved people from Clay and Hannah’s school that I do not know and do not know their personalities. I feel as though if I knew more about the people Hannah was talking about it would be more interesting. Also, it was hard to keep focused because of how long some of the stories were. Although, I did really like the end of the story. The last line is “Skye’s footsteps are growing louder now. And the closer I get to her, the faster I walk, and the lighter I feel. My throat begins to relax. Two steps behind her, I say her name” (Asher, 288). I really like these lines because I believe it shows what Hannah wanted to get across to the people on the tapes. She wanted to show them how much they affected her life and how easily they could have saved her. Clay, stepping out of his comfort zone at the end of the book, shows how the tapes changed him for the better, because he sees that Skye is hurt and he is going out of his way to talk to her. Just like Hannah said, sometimes the least someone can do is just to talk to the person struggling and it will brighten their day.
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VINE VOICEon October 2, 2012
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher connected with me in a way I didn't expect. I read this YA novel because my niece, Kaylee, asked me to. No other reason. I'd never heard of it. I knew nothing about it. Yet, if it was important enough for her to ask me to read it, I felt I needed to. Even with her description of the book, I'm not sure what I expected, but it certainly wasn't what happened. I started reading and couldn't stop. I was already tired when I started and yet I read until exhaustion took over. I felt upset because I couldn't stay awake to finish it. The next day I even broke one of my own rules and recommended the book on social media before I finished reading it or reviewed it. I even emailed a friend to recommend it for his teenage daughter. I found myself on a quest I didn't understand to get this book in the hands of teens and the adults in their lives. When I finished it that night, I cried and cried. I felt pulled and pushed. I recognized a period of time in my life that I'm loathe to admit existed let alone discuss. My heart ached for every person out there struggling to reach out for the help they need... The story isn't that extraordinary or surprising, and that is exactly what makes it so powerful. It is honest and tackles issues without treating teenagers either like they are unrealistically innocent or over the top bad. This is a story about real teenagers without the need to wrap the issues teenagers face in the supernatural or some kind of fantasy world. The realness of Thirteen Reasons Why comes in the fact that it describes situations that happen in teenagers' lives in schools and communities around the world every day of the week. Thirteen Reasons Why reminds us all that the actions we take today have repercussions that we may never anticipate and that may happen long after we've forgotten what we did. In fact, there is also the reminder that inaction can be as deadly as action. Asher weaves a story that is all too believable populated with characters that all too real even making the one or two things the reader may doubt at the beginning quickly seem irrelevant.
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on March 26, 2017
Synopsis: I left it on a plane. On purpose.

Dets.: I too had high hopes for this book. I learned about it via an article that recommended books on mental health issues. I also hold Netflix in high esteem and expected them to have exercised good judgment when deciding to turn this book into a series. Boy, was I wrong. This book is about a teenage girl, but is written by an adult male. Perhaps Asher did his due diligence and consulted with teenagers for this story. I'd love to give him the benefit of the doubt, but most of my issues with this book are due to its tone deaf voice. It is clearly written by an adult with no real concept of how it feels to be a teenage girl in today's world. Hell, I don't even know what it's like to be a teenage girl these days. I give him one star for trying to bring attention to the issues young women face, but that's all the praise this book gets. Save yourself some time and watch the series instead.
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