Thirteen Reasons Why: Book summary and reviews of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2007
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 13 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 deeply affect teen readers.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A brilliant and mesmerizing debut from a gifted new author." - Kirkus

"...compelling reading." - Booklist

"This provocative tale touches on universal topics of interest, is genuine in its message, and would be a good choice for high school book discussions and booktalks." - VOYA

"It may not be for everyone, and many may become bored and/or discouraged before the end, but, like other Razorbill books, it is challenging and interesting." - Children's Literature

"The episodic structure is nicely suited to reluctant readers, but the breakneck pace and dizzying emotion are the true source of this novel's irresistible readability at all levels." - School Library Journal

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Reader Reviews

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Laura

13 Reasons to Read this Story
The topic - teen suicide - is hard. Hard to understand and hard to learn about. But it is even harder for teens contemplating suicide who feel they have no place to turn.

In this story, Hannah thinks she has been very clear to others about her intentions, but that is not the case. I would imagine this happens often. The person hurting doesn't realize that everyone around them doesn't see it just floating around them like a dark cloud.

13 Reasons Why tells 13 separate stories that lead Hannah to her final decision. As a reader, the story gave ME 13 Reasons Why everyone needs to be more sensitive to other's feelings and needs. 13 Reasons to look for signs of depression. 13 Reasons to know who to ask - and HOW to ask - for help.

If you listen to the audio book, set aside some time after the last disc to decompress. It is powerful and deserves a moment to take in what happens.

Thank you, Jay Asher, for telling this story and doing your part to help teens struggling with depression.

NicoletteCall

A Must Read
Thirteen Reasons Why was a very well written book. It explored a topic most authors shy away from, suicide. The author did an amazing job of showing the suicidal thinkers point of view. Thirteen Reasons Why really makes you think about how you treat other people. It shows that no action is too small to affect someone else's life. In Hannah (the main character's case) some people didn't even recognize they had done anything to hurt her, but when someone is already in a fragile state, anything can add on to the pain. I really enjoyed reading this book. It has a gripping topic and once you start, you can’t stop reading it. There isn’t necessarily a happy ending to the book, but it changes the way you think. I know when I finished reading it, I just wanted to hug everyone because I didn’t know what they were going through. It teaches acceptance of others. Stereotypes are hardly ever a correct assessment of a person’s character and one should not be judged based on what others say. One of the things I really liked about this book was that it was very relatable to young adults. The author knows what we are going through at this age and he utilized his knowledge and created a very well written novel to tug at the heart strings.

Teresa

Loved it
This book kept me reading all the way through. It has a good plot with good characters. I feel like there aren't enough good books about this topic. Thirteen reasons why is one of my favorite books!

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