Ok I think I’ve finally mastered my new school and work schedule…maybe. I’m currently sitting at the car dealership with my laptop while they do an oil change on my car and I figured what a perfect time to blog. I’ve had a pretty even balance and more time to myself kind of. Little update on me personally: I’m making time to workout and study more and you guessed it, read! Let’s see how long the seas stay calm haha. So it has been about two months since I read Thirteen Reasons Why but I can still tell you my thoughts on it and the long awaited review is finally upon us.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a book I both love and hate. How can I love and hate it you ask? Well let me tell you. Asher’s writing is amazing. Right from the beginning he builds so much suspense. (I had an iron tight grip on my paperback copy of the book for the first fifty or sixty pages I kid you not.) So let me tell you what this book is all about in case you didn’t already know. Asher’s main character, Clay Jenson, receives a package containing thirteen cassette tapes from another character Hannah Baker. The twist is that Hannah is dead. She committed suicide and these tapes are the stories behind the reasons why. According to Hannah only the people who had something to do with her downfall are meant to receive the tapes. Each person is to listen up until they hear where they come into the story and pass the tapes on to the specified next person. Naturally, Clay is wondering why in the world he was sent these tapes.
I found myself eagerly flipping each page because I wanted to know why Clay was on these tapes, he seems like a nice guy. What could he possibly have had to do with Hannah’s decision to take her own life? The novel is split between both Clay and Hannah’s points of view. This can get confusing because Hannah is speaking is present tense for the most part but you have to remind yourself that her version of the “present” is actually the past. It gets even more confusing when she speaks in the past tense. So does that make it past past tense? I’m joking haha. You’re jolted back into the actual present tense with Clay who is reacting to the tapes in real time. It’s interesting because its almost as if you’re reacting with him…at least I was. Some of Hannah’s stories were surprising to me because eventually you’ll see that everything intertwines.
Now I’ll tell you what I hated. A lot of Hannah’s reasons to me seemed superficial. I didn’t like that a lot of her hardships were typical everyday teen problems. At times it made her seem like a pushover. I felt as though many of her situations were completely avoidable or within her control and she just rolled over and took whatever was dished out at her. Of course I understand that my point of view may be different from the characters or another person reading the book. I became emotionally invested in Hannah’s character and I wanted her to fight.
One thing that I took away from this book was that you never know someone’s situation. What seems like no big deal to you could be the end of the world for someone else so being sensitive to another person’s situation is always important. I think that throughout the book this is what the main character Clay learned as well. He saw the signs in Hannah but didn’t understand them nor did he know how to help. I feel like reading this book has brought me more insight and because of how much I enjoyed this book I will probably read more like it. I typically tend to read more fantasy or dystopian novels so to read something so real about things people actually deal with was both refreshing and eye opening.
If you’re looking for your next good read I would definitely suggest this book.