Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher

Published on: 27th December 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: E-Book

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You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. 

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

I would like to thank Penguin Random House and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review. I love you to bits!

The reason why I start developing an interest in this novel is from numerous rumours I heard from readers or friends. They keep saying how good the show and novel is. In addition, another reason why I want to read this novel is also that this novel is written in the point of view of a person with suicidal thoughts. I want to know the thoughts and behaviours of such people though I’m unsure if Thirteen Reason Why is an accurate representation. I thought this novel might be an eye opener for me and it certainly is. Moreover, this novel is portraying an important message: to be aware of our own words and action as it might hurt others even if you don’t intend to hurt them.

As stated above, this novel has been a page turner for me, allowing me to view things from a different perspective. The way this novel has been written makes it seem like I’m following Hannah’s footsteps as she recalls the memories/encounters she faced. I love the cassette tapes idea and the narration. Jay has done an excellent job in piecing the ideas together and sending the message across to the readers.

Over the course of the novel, I get more and more hooked to the novel after I start sympathising with Hannah. Though I feel that the situations which Hannah went through are common and people will usually forget and brush the issue off after some time has passed, I must agree with the idea of the snowball effect. I’ve witnessed the snowball effect firsthand. Certain situation starts getting out of hand and the adults and disciplinary board in school had to step in as a result.

I feel that Hannah should’ve sought help early rather than bottling up her feelings. She should’ve also sought help from a professional rather than a teacher since professionals are trained to deal with such thoughts. I’m sure they would’ve provided better advice.

Throughout the novel, some of the reasons are literally so screwed up, I’ve nothing to say. But for others, they seem to be more of an excuse than a reason. I feel like an emotional rollercoaster throughout the novel. From disbelief at what I’m reading to sympathy for Hannah to upset and anger. I find myself racing through the novel after I’m halfway through. I wanted to know the reasons and how much each reason connects to the other. There are so many questions in my mind as I’m flipping through the novel and at the end of it, I honestly feel so sad for Hannah. Her death could’ve been avoided if only she seeks help early.

Finally, the message in the entire novel, your actions and words might hurt an individual though it might seem like it is a joke at first or you’ve no intention of hurting them. Sometimes, we might indirectly offend someone though we don’t have any intention of doing that. I’ve personally offended someone just from being too straightforward. Sometimes we have to be more sensitive with our choice of words. This doesn’t mean that we have to sugar coat what we say but instead, we should see if the individual we are conversing with is able to take straight forward comments or is a tad more sensitive.



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