“To miss her each time I pull in a breath of air. To miss her with a heart that feels so cold by itself, but warm when thoughts of her flow through me.” source.
You may have heard about Jay Asher's debut novel "13 Reasons Why" for a few reasons. 1, the book drags controversial issues into the spotlight, 2, a movie adaption is planned for the near future to star Selena Gomez and 3, the book has gone on to win multiple awards since its 2007 release.
The book follows Clay Jensen on what turns out to be a scary ride. It's made clear that a fellow student of Clay's, Hannah Baker, commit suicide. When Clay returns home one day from school to find a box of cassettes adressed to him from Hannah he's intrigued and compelled to listen. The 13 tapes take him on an adventure across his town to places that affected and changed Hannah's life. Each tape contains a story about a certain person and how they contributed to her death. Hannah refers to the stories as a "snowball", as time went on and each person hurt her, her depression grew bigger. The tapes were sent to each person from the stories in chronological order, forcing each person to face the negative effect they had on Hannah. The cliffhanger of the book is Clay's tape, what will it say? Will it be bad? What could he have done to hurt Hannah, girl he hardly knew.
The format of the book is complex but easy to follow once grasped. Clays' dialogue and internal thoughts are portrayed in the text as they usually would. Hannah's voice and stories are combined throughout the text in italics or as separate paragraphs making it easy to distinguish between the two story tellers. It's really interesting to see each story unfold from two different points of view. Hannah's story telling of events combined with Clay's perceived opinions contribute to a captivating read.
The book intrigued me when I first picked it up because of personal circumstances, as is the same for a lot of people. In a world where depression and other mental health problems are prominent, it's highly possible we all know someone who has attempted or succeeded suicide. The book is small and highly captivating, leaving it a short read for individuals. I liked the book, I thought the message was loud and clear for the readers to grasp. It was also nice to see an issue like suicide, which is highly debated, raised in public light.
13 Reasons Why deserves 5 stars. Jay Asher's book may be challenging to read, but it's not everyday you come across a book like this.
Those of you who enjoyed Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns by John Green, Go Ask Alice by Anonymous and Somebody's Crying by Maureen McCarthy. If you're a fan of light mystery, dark humour or even teen issues I'd recommend 13 Reasons Why to you. The book isn't coming of age, but rather a story of teenage relationships and issues.
This review was written by regular reviewer Taylah, get to know her here.