12 August 2015

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

Publication: 2007

# of Pages: 288

Source: Audio-Book, Overdrive

Favorite Quotes:

  • "Betrayal it's one of the worst feelings."
  • "A lot of you cared, just not enough."
  • "If my love were an ocean there would be no more land. If my love were a desert you would only see sand. If my love were a star late at night only light. And if my love could grow wings I'd be soaring in flight."
Goodreads Summary/Blurb: "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 deep affect teen readers."

My Thoughts/Review

Suicide--it's almost as if it's a dangerous word, something most of us are scared to talk about. It's considered mysterious, selfish, confusing, and completely and utterly heartbreaking. Jay Asher breaks through our silence and addresses the very essence of suicide in his novel Th1rteen R3asons Why

Hannah, a high school student, commits suicide as a result of many difficult scenarios--13 to be exact. In order to explain her reasons for her untimely death she records a series of 13 tapes chronicling her decision and those responsible. Typing a young man by the name of Clay, readers are taken on a unforgettable journey into Hannah's world of pain and suffering. 

While the scenarios Hannah lists are indicative of many suicide cases, they do not paint a clear picture. As an individual that has faced suicide in several different occasions, I felt that Hannah's story needed more depth. The way in which Hannah left those behind with her 13 reasons almost seemed cruel. It is possible that her tapes could have caused more damage than resolution. I almost felt as though her tapes were more of retaliation than clarification, making it difficult to empathize with her. I also would have liked to see more explanation and development of Hannah as a character. Suicide is a complex subject; therefore, it requires complex characters. Hannah's character felt a little flat. 

Nevertheless, I did appreciate the fact that Jay Asher was even willing to tackle such a difficult subject. As a big proponent of mental health awareness and anti-bullying measures, I truly believe that we need to see more books that tackle such difficult subjects in a means to bring about global awareness. The more people know and understand things about topics such as suicide the more they are likely to notice signs, symptoms, and triggers associated with them ultimately leading to greater prevention. Asher attempted to do this, but fell a little short in development. If you are interested in getting started in areas associated with such difficult topics this is a great place to start; however, keep in mind that it does not provide the whole picture. 

If you know anyone considering suicide or battling thoughts of suicide have them contact 1 (800) 273-8255  or visit www.suicideprevtionlifeline.org which is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They are a great resource and always have people willing to listen. 

Rating: 3/5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. I saw this at B & N a few days ago and almost bought it. I might wait until it is part of my library collection to read it. You seem to really care about this subject. Thank you for your thoughts on this.