Happy Monday, friends! I’m on recess for the rest of the month, kind of like the Supreme Court, which means full dedication to tackling my ever-growing Goodreads list.
Let’s get to it.
I’m still sort of wrapping my mind around Thirteen Reasons Why. I’ve been both wanting and waiting to read it (if that makes sense), mostly because I was intrigued by the premise but at the same time, the idea just seemed so…heavy. It’s not exactly a summertime beach read if ya know what I mean.
From the back cover:
“Clay Jensen doesn’t want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her. Then Hannah’s voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes–and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death. All though the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his small town…and what he discovers changes his life forever.”
Any copy that ends in “changes his life forever” and I’m so there. You got me.
But suicide. Oy.
The concept of the book is basically brilliant. You are reading a simultaneous narrative: Hannah’s voice on the tapes and Clay’s thoughts as he’s listening to them. Genius, right? Now I’m kicking myself for not listening to the audiobook. It took me a couple chapters to really get used to the style, but I think overall it’s great. From the get go I needed to know what happened.
As the title suggests, there are thirteen reasons why Hannah commits suicide, thirteen people, really, who affected her life is way they didn’t know. She leaves a shoe box full of cassette tapes to be passed around among them. It’s as ghoulish and haunting as it sounds. The first cassette centers around the incident that started a whole chain of events that led to her death, and the buildup keeps the pages turning, especially as various characters and stories intertwine.
Along with the tapes, Clay has a map of the town that Hannah left him. Throughout the narrative, Hannah directs him to points on the map where each incident took place. Clay’s an interesting one. He’s the “good kid” at school, whose reason for being on the list is far different from the others, and he’s the character who really makes the story compelling. You feel like you’re with him on this journey to unraveling Hannah’s story and understanding her actions.
I think this book is a great read for anyone in high school. If I had to sum it up, I’d say that the book is about what we do and say to others, and how those actions and words, no matter how small, affect people (so go give someone a high five).
…and I’m off to secure Jay Asher’s second book, The Future of Us!