Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 13 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
I bought this book years ago when I went through a “I must read every contemporary YA book ever” phase. And I remember liking it…but I never read it again. Well, I just reread it, and now I remember why.
It’s a good book…just not extraordinary. And I feel like a book dealing with this subject matter should be make me feel…more. It’s a good premise, good writing, good characters, but it’s like the story doesn’t live up to the premise. The “reasons” from the title…some of them weren’t great. And that’s why it’s not a great book. OK. So I’ve read other reviews of this book, and almost all of them say that Hannah’s reasons were stupid and the girl just needed to get over it. And I agree with that, up until the party. I just don’t think that Jay Asher did a good job of showing Hannah’s growing depression…she seemed functional, happy, she had friends and dates. And then she pops up and reminds us about how the list ruined her and she’s so upset over it. It was like the events didn’t match up to how Hannah was feeling.
It’s definitely worth a read…just don’t expect it to be a groundbreaking book about teen suicide.