Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Razorbill; 1st edition (October 18, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
When Clay Jenson plays the casette tapes he received in a mysterious package, he's surprised to hear the voice of dead classmate Hannah Baker. He's one of 13 people who receive Hannah's story, which details the circumstances that led to her suicide. Clay spends the rest of the day and long into the night listening to Hannah's voice and going to the locations she wants him to visit. The text alternates, sometimes quickly, between Hannah's voice (italicized) and Clay's thoughts as he listens to her words, which illuminate betrayals and secrets that demonstrate the consequences of even small actions. Hannah, herself, is not free from guilt, her own inaction having played a part in an accidental auto death and a rape. The message about how we treat one another, although sometimes heavy, makes for compelling reading.
Oh gosh, this book was amazing. I mean, I don't even know where to begin on explaining to you how you MUST read this book! When I begin to think about how much I loved this book, I stop myself and think, why should I love this book? The whole thing is kinda sick, really. The whole book is inside the mind of Hannah Baker and her 13 Reasons Why she killed herself. All her stories, all her decisions leading up to the point of suicide. And the thing that made me really sad was that the whole time, Clay, the boy who has loved her for years, and could never have the guts to tell her, is listening to it all. Listening to all 13 little cassette tapes on how Hannah wanted to end her life. Listening to the reason he's on one of those tapes. The whole time he feels like he is getting to know her so much more, how he felt so connected. And yet, he can never tell her. Because if he's listening to them, it means she's already dead.
I thought this book was very well written, and the way Jay Asher put together all the little pieces of the story was incredible. The whole thing felt so realistic. READ THIS BOOK!
*Word to the wise: There is some strong sexual references including rape, violence (rape) and some strong language. For full content GO to Parental Book Reviews.