One of the books that had resided on my to be read list for quite some time was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This book has mainly very good reviews, but the no-so-good reviews are interesting because I totally felt the same way while I was reading this book.
“Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.”
First of all, the book was narrated both by Hannah and Clay, but to differentiate between the two, some of the narrative was in italics. I found it slightly confusing at times as I had to remember that the italics were Clay’s thoughts and not part of the recorded tapes that he was listening to. Secondly, I just did not find Hannah’s reasons for killing herself to be believable. She had many of the same problems as any average teen does (rumors spread about her, for example). If Hannah suffered from depression, it was not obvious, nor did anyone in her life seem to pick up on it. When she went to a school counselor, he did not intervene correctly, which was probably the biggest mistake made by the 13 people that Hannah included on her tapes, but Hannah places the blame for her choice on all of them. Also, at some point, Hannah put herself in several bad situations as if wanting more horrible things to happen to her. The real problem was that her parents were nowhere around and she did not have any type of adult support. However, the blame is placed on a bunch of high school kids. If I can imagine anyone wanting to kill themselves, it would be some of the kids that Hannah blamed. The one good thing I can see about this book is that it encourages people to watch the things they say and do to others because of the tremendous impact that they might have.
Have you read anything good lately?