High school junior Hannah Baker is a young teen who has moved to the town of Cresmont, looking forward to a brand new high school, with high hopes of making new friends. Little did she know, making friends was harder than it seemed, especially when little rumors turned into big rumors. Rumors are followed by lies and betrayals that greatly hurt Hannah. Eventually she feels there is no solution to solve her ruined reputation and decides to commit suicide. She takes a bottle of pills, ending her life. However, just before her death, Hannah sends a box of audiotapes and a map around to thirteen of her classmates, all of whom played a part in the events leading to her death. Each one of the thirteen tapes addresses a different classmate and how they affected her life in a negative way. Each classmate must listen to all of the tapes including the tape that discuses their own role in her suicide.
Clay Jensen, former lover of Hannah, was one of the last peers to receive the tapes. Clay is shocked when he hears Hannahs voice on the tapes, and even more shocked when he finds out that he was among one of the thirteen reasons why, Hannah Baker, ended her life. Clay, after listening to the tapes, is sickened to hear of all the things that had happened to her, but relieved to know that of all the thirteen people to receive the tapes he is the only one that did not have a negative impact on Hannah. However the tapes did greatly impact him and change his life, forever.
New Author Jay Asher was inspired to write Thirteen Reasons Why while he was in a museum taking an audio tour. He was struck by the eeriness of the voice in his ear- a woman who described exactly what he was looking at, but wasnt there.(Jay Asher)
Set in the Historic district of Cresmont, Thirteen Reasons Why is full of suspense, emotion, and may even strike up a tear or two. Jay Asher does a phenomenal job with the duel narrative of Hannah and Clay and creates believable characters who come alive. As you read the novel, its easy to become attached to the characters of Hannah and Clay, and to feel as if you are one of the characters in the story as well. For example, you hurt when Hannah hurts and feel betrayed when Hannah feels betrayed. As some parts of the novel may be mature for the younger ages, its nothing they dont see while watching five minutes of TV. Asher does a wonderful job of captivating his audience and drawing them into the life of Hannah Baker.
Two things that struck me in this novel are that people dont realize that the little things they do to someone, could be a major thing to another person, and it may really affect them. The second thing that really stood out to me in this book is that Hannah felt so much guilt and felt that her situation was so hopeless, the only thing left to do was kill herself. Another thing that struck me is that Hannah felt so much guilt and that her situation was so hopeless, the only thing she had left to do was to kill herself. At some moments of this book I just wanted to jump in it and save her. Thirteen reasons why is definitely worth the read, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Thirteen Reasons why was first published in 2007 by the Penguin Group.