Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher

Publication Date: October 18th, 2007

Publisher: Razorbill




Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen 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.

My Thoughts: I've seen a lot of positive reviews for this book, and I'm honestly I'm astounded. So if you did love this book and don't want to hear why I think it was so downright terrible, I suggest that this is where you stop reading.

This book was absolutely horrible. I almost thought about not reviewing it because I didn't feel like wasting my breath. But then I thought no, I think this book could use some different light shed on it. And maybe no one else seen this book the way I did, but hopefully some of you did.

In the first place this book pretty much glorifies suicide. It doesn't make it sound like Hannah should not have commited suicide. It doesn't give the idea that commiting suicide  is even a bad idea. I mean yeah, there Clay Jensen who was all "Why did you do it? Why Why?". But that is about the extent of it.  Not only that though, the reasons given for Hannah's suicide are downright insane. I can't even beleive the list of 13 reasons given in this book. Because someone slapped her ass?  Or started a rumor or about her? Or used her for a drive to a party? Give me a freaking break!!!  It's called High School and none of us come out of it unscathed. Seriously, is there a single person on this earth that doesn't have horrible high school experiences?! There'd be a lot of  dead teenagers if we all handled ourselves the Hannah shows us is the acceptable reaction.

Which, in my opinion, make it even worse that this is a young adult book. It's just plain wrong to me. It  blows my mind that people the same age as the characters could be reading this story  and seeing suicide taken so lightly. I guarantee half of the people reading  this story had far worse experiences than Hannah or are even currently facing much harder times. To think they might pick up this book and think, well gee if all these people think these are justifiable issues for ending your life, then why am I still living with mine?  In fact, I think this book is an offense to any person who has ever seriously dealt with suicidal thoughts and issues. To take Hannah's thirteen reasons as good enough for what she did is like throwing dirt right in anyone's face who has seriously struggled with suicidal thoughts.

I am aware that some pretty bad things did happen in this book, but may I also point out that they didn't even happen directly to Hannah. She witnessed these events, attached herself to them and used them for fodder to build up more reasons. There was one moment in this book where a character said "Hannah was just looking for reasons to kill herself". And I could not have agreed with him more! It really seemed like she was just digging for any excuse.

 And then she had to make these tapes and attempt to ruin all these other peoples lives who she blames for her taking her own.... Seriously? As I said before, some of the reasons were so unbeleiveably petty and Hannah here makes them listen to a tape saying pretty much that it's their fault she killed herself and now they have to live with that. We all do stupid things in high school, how would you like it if someone  took their life because you used them for a drive to a party and then made a tape telling you  it was your fault and now you have to carry that for the rest of your life.

This book is just.....wrong. I don't think anyone should be reading it. And especially not the age group it's directed at. My vote is don't even touch this book, don't encourage others to read it. You of course are free to disagree with my reasoning, but the point of working on a book blog  is to share MY thoughts and these are them: This book is garbage.


  1. Meghan, you make such great points! I read this book in one sitting, and at the time I loved it. But I know it was only because of the concept -- not necessarily the contents. You're right: the book never shows that Hannah shouldn't have committed suicide, and her reasons for doing so are kind of lame. Those were two things that bothered me about the book, but apparently those thoughts didn't float close enough to the forefront of my mind. Great review. I'm glad you decided to write it after all.

    1. Thank you so much! I was hesitant to write a review like this on here. I don't think I've ever written one on here before that I disliked this much. And I knew a lot of people really liked it so that made me nervous also. But I did decide I wanted to put my opinion out there. Thanks for the support :).


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