25 June 2010

Guest Review: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher ****

A bit of an intro this time:
I've recently been contacted by the lovely Ch'aska, who asked me if I could review Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher as she's read it herself and she thought certain bits were too old for her. I told her I currently don't have a copy to review, but I invited her to send me her own review and I could post it her for people to discuss the book and she kindly agreed to do so.

Ch'aska says she's a 'tween, going on 12', but that she's always enjoyed books that were written for people older than her, so she's decided to give this book a try ... You can read her thoughts below, but first here's a quick plot description and the two covers - which one do YOU prefer? :)
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 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.

Ch'aska's review:
Thirteen reasons why follows Clay Jenkins, a boy in high-school, a normal boy that does all the normal things. Studies, hangs out with friends... that is until a pack of tapes turns up on his doorstep.
The story is split in two, Hannah and Clay. It starts in a post-office, with Clay mailing off a package... a package full of tapes. Then it goes back to the beginning.
This story doesn't happen over a long period of time, it takes Clay a night, 1 night, to listen to these tapes. Hannah explains the point of the tapes to show what a snowball effect these 13 people had on her life.
The snowball effect which eventually led her to end her life.

The girl, Hannah actually frustrated me through the book because it felt like she could come back... Clay was really thoughtful and it really pulls you into the book, the book pretty much is trying to say that the way you treat one person can have a snowball effect and lead to fateful mistakes.

I felt like the end was to be expected, if you pay close attention, and even though I did re-read it, it doesn't seem like a book I would usually re-read. Some of the reasons were a bit old for me, and I could have done without.
The book did make me cry, only twice, but after that, it more left me... somber, I don't know if it was because of the subject (suicide) or because of the way it was written, so straight-forward.

Also, I want to add, if you do read the book, read Thirteen Reasons Why-Between the Lines, it will explain some pretty interesting stuff about how the book started.

overall rating:
plot: 5/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 3/5

Thanks so much, Ch'aska!
Have YOU read this book? If so, what did you think of it?

14 comments:

Mizz Ali said...

I prefer the UK cover. Don't know why, but I'm more drawn to it!

ChickLitGirl said...

I loved the book. It was deep, easy to read and just made me think a bit. I could actually relate to some parts too.

. Ruz . said...

Nice page! I'm following you. =) My book home is at Ruz's Bookshelves

I luurrvveee chic-lits!

Mizz Ali said...

Thanks for following my blog :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

US gets my vote :)

Blueicegal ♥ said...

This one of of my favorite books you get very attached to the story as well as the characters and its one of those that stays with you for a very long time loved this book :)

Ria- The Beaucoup Review book blog. said...

I like the UK one :)
I've never heard of this- but glad you liked it!
-Ria

Ayesha said...

I love our UK cover more...this book is actually on my wish list

www.thereadingsofabusymom.blogspot.com

P said...

I read the book myself and it was compulsive reading, but I did think some of the content was maybe a little inappropriate given the fact it was YA genre. Also, I felt like a lot of the reasons were fairly lame and that frustrated me.

Rhiana said...

Hey both, I saw this this morning but I was rushing out to work and didn't have time to post a comment!

I think I would agree that some of the themes are a little old, particularly for less mature readers (Ch'askra-you sound as if you processed this really well, great review!) I'd be happy for my daughter to read it when she's older (she's only five now) but I'm glad I've also read it and could discuss the issues with her. From a parents POV, the main concern I had was the failure to involve an adult by the characters, especially as there are some serious crimes committed in the book (although I do believe this is the author saying that even then, people continue to let Hannah down)

Pearly Girly said...

Wow, this is a great reivew, well done Ch'askra! One of my friends was reading this and really enjoyed it so I will put it on my wish list. I'm a year older and I love reviewing books too so now I have my own blog, which is really fun! Maybe it could be suggested to Ch'askra :)

Trish said...

I just finished this one and thought some of the reasons why were a little odd as well (actually just wrote a lot about this). And I also thought that maybe Hannah would come back--that maybe she didn't really kill herself.

I know you said it's not really a book you'd re-read but I really really recommend the audio version!

Hannah RIP MDM said...

Its funny because my friend read this book before my brother committed suicide last year, and right after his death, recommended it to me. i really enjoyed it, and although my brother didn't leave tapes, it reminded me of him and that book is now my favorite book :( i'll never forget him, or this book

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Sorry to hear about your brother ... :(

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