Thirteen Reasons Why–Book Review

This book lingered in my psyche all week. I found myself bringing it up in every conversation. Or rather turning every conversation to it. With my penpal in Okinawa, with my bff at IHOP, to dad when he walked in the door from work, to Mom as we ate lunch.

It left an indelible mark on me. And so dear readers, I decided to have a Sunday blog post about it. For this week only, we will have a seven day run of blog posts. Yup it’s that important, that I’m cutting into my travelogue diary.

To say, this book needs to be read by every single high school student in the world. Scratch that. Every single human being. Because the implications are staggering.

One of the most thought provoking lines of the book has to do with the fact that when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you mess with their entire life.

Jay Asher’s riveting Thirteen Reasons Why brings the reader on an internal journey, forcing them to take a revealing look at themselves.

In this book, Clay Jensen receives a box from his classmate Hannah, who died weeks ago. Inside are cassette tapes she recorded explaining the thirteen reasons why she died. And then she tells him, and if you are listening to this tape, you are one of those reasons.

The book juxtaposes Clay’s thoughts with Hannah’s recorded tapes in a gut-wrenching, macabre hunt to understand what happened to Hannah and what could have been done to help her.

Along the way, stupid pranks, cruel jokes, spiteful words, and looking the other way, they all snowball and leave suicide her only option. It really makes you stop and think how much impact you have on everyone around you. And realize all your actions have consequences. Not just for you, but for everyone around it.

In the end, it made me want to be a better person. To not stand by and watch someone suffer or be picked on. To not look the other way. To not let things snowball for others.

That is why everyone should read Thirteen Reasons Why. It makes you care again. To want to make a slight difference because you understand one word or one action can make all the difference to someone.

You can read more about the book at: Thirteen Reasons Why

And you can purchase a copy of the book here on Amazon.

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4 Responses to Thirteen Reasons Why–Book Review

  1. Kourtney, excellent review. It is a great book.

    I had the opportunity to see Jay Asher (the author) give a book talk when he was touring. In the audience were a group of young people who had been moved by the story and wanted to share that in public. He was very warm, kind and respectful to them, which left an indelible impression on me about the power an author holds to touch an other person through story.

    • Thanks Ramona! It’s one of those books, I couldn’t stop thinking about while reading and even afterwards. The pages flew by in a few days, despite my trying to linger over the book. I’m so jealous that you got to see him. What a wonderful experience to have readers respond so publicly to his work! There’s a website–http://www.thirteenreasonswhy.com/–where readers can post comments and video about his book. He even has voice recordings of Hannah you can listen to. Amazingly interactive. Maybe the idea came from that reading you attended? 🙂

  2. berry says:

    This book could be lifesaving. I wish it could be read by all. People can be cruel without realizing it. Kudos to the author. And you for blogging about it. U might save a life today.

    • I hope more teens read this book and realize the harm they do to each other with their cliches and their bullying. It’s cruel and it needs to stop. I’m sickened by how much they destroy each other. And for what? So they can look cool? So they can feel better about themselves? It’s funny because something as little as reading my blog or this book or seeing an “It Get’s Better” broadcast might be the thing that stops someone from sinking under all the bullying. Kids need to know someone else has experienced it and made it through.

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