31 May 2015

REVIEW: Thirteen Reasons Why (Jay Asher)

"The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."
~ Oscar Wilde


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

So, I mentioned in today's Monthly Update that I recently completed a book report for school. Of course I have to review that book on this blog -- It would be illogical not to!!

The novel was Thirteen Reasons Why. I read it before, at least a year ago, although I can't remember when exactly, so I figured that it would make my life (and my book report) simpler to reread a book that I was already familiar with.


Image via user "gail billy" on YouTube.

I like this story. I wouldn't describe it as groundbreaking, although it kept my attention well. For a 288-page story, I read it surprisingly quickly, so it is well-paced and easy to read because it's so damn interesting. I would recommend it if you're looking for something new to read.

The story is about a high-schooler named Clay whose crush, Hannah, commits suicide. Before long, a package of cassette tapes that Hannah created prior to her death circulate between thirteen people. Clay is one of these people. On the tapes, Hannah explains the reasons why she killed herself -- and some of them are unexpected.

I love that the book starts really quickly, so that you as the reader are forced to wonder why certain things are going on. It's all about the intrigue. I also think it is creative that Asher wrote about half the book using Clay's perspective, interspersed with Hannah's perspective for the other half. It makes Clay rethink everything he knew upon learning about Hannah's thoughts.

One of my favourite things about this book is that it's realistic. As we learn over the course of the entire story, Hannah didn't kill herself for no reason or to be dramatic. She reveals in her tapes that many of her peers are to blame, because they contributed to her death in major ways like harassing her, ignoring her, betraying her, or spreading rumours about her until her reputation is ruined. Hannah's depression strengthened and her pessimism got the best of her -- just like it does in many real-life suicides.

Asher clearly planned the story very carefully, which I commend. Each character is interconnected in the most subtle ways, and as the reader discovers this, it enhances the story because Clay, the narrator, is learning it at the same time.

Hannah had to deal with a lot, to be fair. She discusses a wide range of taboo items in her tapes, like mental illness, therapy, voyeurism, underage drinking, and rape. It is our job throughout the story, as the readers, to piece together the puzzle while Clay provides us with background details about Hannah's life and personality.

Meanwhile, Hannah does the same thing. Except she tells the truth.

6 comments:

  1. I loved this book. It was so chilling and interesting. Quite sad too though:(

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    1. I agree! I think it was well-thought-out and very fascinating, and definitely sad.

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  2. I was hooked from the first and finished it in the space of one sitting. It was so captivating and quite hauntingly real.

    Samantha @ Just A Bookworm

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    1. I like it, too! I love it when books are so perfectly paced that they're easy to read but also really interesting. Thanks for commenting, Samantha!

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  3. Surprisingly, I didn't love this book. I gave it 3 stars, it was sad but I just couldn't connect with it.

    Yousra | Mystic Tales

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    1. I understand what you mean. I think the book can be relatable if a reader can connect with the subject matter and the events in the plot. Otherwise, it won't be as enjoyable. Thanks for the comment!

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