Thirteen Reasons Why
Oh. My. God. This book is one of those rare pieces of literature that touches on so many important issues and leaves you feeling both emotionally raw yet hopeful. I couldn’t rave enough about this book. I loved the writing, the characters, the formatting, the pacing, EVERYTHING.
The story follows Clay Jensen, one day, he receives a pack of mysterious tapes, old-school stuff, and he’s anxious to listen to them, and the he discovers that they are Hanna Baker’s detailed journey, and somehow diary, to death. Her last words. But, wait, Hanna Baker killed herself. How is it that he received tapes from her? Well, she made a whole plan, where she would record in seven tapes (thirteen stories total), the thirteen reasons why, she would kill herself, in the end, a why she killed herself.
When Clay Jensen finds a package on his front porch, he’s excited. A package, for him? With no return address? What could it possibly be? What Clay finds is a shoebox full of cassette tapes, each marked as “Cassette 1: Side A,” “Cassette 1: Side B,” etc. Of course he rushes to the old radio/cassette player in his dad’s garage to check out these mysterious tapes.
Each side of the tapes, or each story, explains one reason, and she mentions a person in each one, naming them as contributors to her decision. So Clay – naturally – is completely freaked out, What did he do to her? He had always had a thing for her, but other than that, nothing.
And soon wishes, wholeheartedly, that he’d never picked up that stupid package from his front porch.
What he hears when he inserts that first tape is the voice of Hannah Baker. Hannah, the girl he’d crushed on for longer than he could remember. The girl he went to school with. The girl he worked at the movie theater with. The girl who had changed, drastically, in the last several months. Hannah Baker, the girl who committed suicide.
Clay soon realizes that these tapes aren’t just a suicide note, aren’t, really, even a clear-cut rendition of why she did what she did. Instead, these are thirteen reasons — thirteen people, to be exact — who created a snowball-effect of events that led Hannah to believe that suicide was her only option. But why is Clay on that list? How could he possibly be one of the reasons that she killed herself?
As the day goes on, Clay becomes obsessed with listening to the tapes. And what he hears frightens him, disturbs him, and, in the end, leads him to realizations that he never would have expected. As Clay listens to the role that thirteen people, including himself, led in the ultimate death of Hannah Baker, his view of the world, and himself, changes drastically.
You will love this book, because you won’t be able to help yourself. You will feel what Clay feels. You will, in a very strong way, experience the highs and lows of Hannah’s life right along with her. And there is nothing, in my opinion, that could speak better for the authenticity of a book. Read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. And then, if you’re like me, you’ll read it again. And, hopefully, none of us will ever forget it.
-Cassandra @ SoManyBooksSoLittleTime