Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Review : 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher + Giveaway !

“You can't stop the future

You can't rewind the past

The only way to learn the secret to press play.”

― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

  • Release Date: October 18th 2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Genre: Contemporary
  • Publisher: Razorbill

Synopsis: 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.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.

Judging by the 3 full pages of blurbs and accolades in the paperback edition, it looks like  Thirteen Reasons Why has been captivating readers and authors alike for years.

Contemporary is one of my favorite genres,I have no idea why, it just appeals to me so much. But it  can be challenging to find a good contemporary. Authors are challenged to take every day life experiences and spin it into something compelling and real. And that's exactly what Asher has done so well in Thirteen Reasons Why.

When Clay Jensen gets a package of cassette tapes at his door, the last voice he expects to hear on them is his former crush, Hannah Baker. The girl who committed suicide a few weeks earlier. 7 tapes, 13 sides, 13 stories for 13 people with 13 reasons why she took her own life and how they contributed.

The style of this novel is unique. It takes place in one night and consists of Clay's first person narrative intermingling with Hannah's voice  on the tapes. I like this set up because it adds an extra layer of tension to Hannah's words; they're the words of a dead girl.  Something tells me this novel makes an amazing audio book. I know it has two voice actors, so I will have to check it out sometime.

As a protagonist, Clay Jensen is your typical nice guy often found in male POV novels, but I 
hard it was for me to feel sympathy for Hannah. She makes and sends these tapes to her classmates to hurt them, to damage them and to blame them for why she is dead even though at times she admits she puts herself in bad situations.

In the back of the book, Asher shares how his niece attempted suicide and when talking with her about it, he was struck by how, in order to understand one persons story she had to tell another's first. I think the novel does an excellent job of putting that concept into writing. In fact, a few instances in the novel are based on stories Asher heard or from his own experiences.

Thirteen Reasons Why is an excellent novel for teenagers. I think teens (or anyone of us really) can be so horrible to each other and not realize the affect they are having. Asher has truly given us a cutting edge story about the powers of words, actions and one girls last goodbye.

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  1. I bought this book two years ago and haven't gotten the time to read it. :| Heard good things about it though, and I love the concept of having cassette tapes. I think it adds a suspense in the story. I love contemporary books too because I could relate to it. Nice review!

  2. I had the book for a year and a half before I picked it up ! It is definitely worth a read

  3. I really want to read this one. It sounds like it really packs an emotional punch, and I'm interested in the unique style of the novel. Hopefully I'll get to this one this year :)


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