Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is the story of Clay Jensen, a high school student who returns home from school to find a box of cassette tapes on his front porch.  He plays the tapes and discovers they were made by Hannah Baker, a fellow classmate who had committed suicide two weeks earlier.  On the tapes, Hannah shares the thirteen reasons why she killed herself and Clay learns more about Hannah and some of his other classmates than he ever could have imagined.

This novel was pretty good.  It is written from Clay and Hannah's point of view, so you get to hear Hannah's side of the story as well as Clay's reactions to them.  I got to certain sections where I wish they would have just let Hannah share her side instead of going back and forth to Clay, but for the most part the writing style was enjoyable.

I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone younger than twelve or thirteen since it talks about some intense stuff such as suicide, underage drinking, sexual situations, bullying, etc.  However, I do think it is a great read for teens to address those topics and perhaps even start a dialogue about them.  I felt like the novel was able to do a good job of capturing how young people treat each other and how the effects of that treatment have the potential to be so damaging.