Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
published by Penguin Young Reader Group in October 2007
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, hell find out how he made the list.This is not the typical novel that I read where two persons meet, fall in love and end up happy ever after. This is the story of a teenager who committed suicide and left a series of tapes to people who were involved in her life and contributed to her decision. Clay, the main character, wondered why she did it? Why did she leave these tapes behind? And I think that she wanted people to care... they didn't while she was alive, but I think that she hoped they finally would once she wasn't alive anymore.
I think that for a first novel, M. Asher really wrote something powerful and insightful. Just like DC, I was completely sucked in the book and could not put it down. We follow Clay's emotional journey as he listens all these tapes in one night. Right, only one night... so basically, this novel tells a story that is in the past and it doesn't go beyond that very much, but it's really a great book. I think that M. Asher captured high school life very well... which got me thinking... you know when kids are done with elementary school and they're ready to take their next step. They are usually so excited to go to high school... however, high school is actually scary. Really scary and it's so easy for everything in your world to go so wrong, just like it did for Hannah.
This novel doesn't preach, but it makes the readers think... and I think it captures the way teenagers think very well. I have no complaints about this book at all, except perhaps one thing... How old are they? The author says senior, junior and freshman... but because of where I've been to school (i.e. Quebec province), I'm really not familiar with these terms so I don't know what age correspond to them. But as I said, aside from it, I think this is a very good novel and I was so very sad for Hannah.