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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why, a review by Karen

Title:  Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Format: paperback
Price: $10.99

This book is about Clay Jensen.  In the beginning of the book, he received a shoe box full of cassette tapes.  The tapes were made by Hannah Baker, who had recently committed suicide.  On the tapes, Hannah instructed 13 people, who the tapes are being sent to, to listen to the tapes because they, or their actions, are one of the reasons why she killed herself.  If they don't listen to the tapes, a second copy of the tapes will be released to everyone.  As Clay listens to the tapes, he discovers the truth.

Clay is an average high school student with a good reputation.  His appearance doesn't really matter in the story, so it isn't mentioned.  Before Clay gets the tapes, all he wants to do is survive high school.  After he gets the tapes, he has a better understanding of people.  The tapes change Clay, and by doing that, change his whole life.  Through the changing of his life, he changes others' lives, too.

The author, Jay Asher, says the message of the book is, "Even though Hannah admits the decision to take her life was entirely her own, it's important to be aware of how we treat others...it's impossible to know everything...going on in [a] person's life, an how we might be adding to his/her pain." 

One strength of Thirteen Reasons Why is the connection to readers.  It is extremely realistic because it is partially based on the story of a relative of the author.  The only weakness I could find was that it was sometimes a little hard to follow because the point of view changes often.  I can't pick a favorite part because everything left such a big impact on me.  The writing was easy to understand and had a clear plot structure.  Thirteen Reasons Why pulled me in right from the beginning.  Then I couldn't put it down.  It was extremely entertaining.

The end of the book was very satisfying.  It was exactly how I would end the book.  It wasn't cheesy or depressing.  It was perfectly balanced.  I would definitely read another book by Jay Asher because I like his writing style.  Thirteen Reasons Why worked very well for realistic fiction.

5 out of 5 chocolate bars

The cover I have is of a girl (Hannah) on a swing.  It is in black and white.  The swing works well because an important event for her happened in a park.  The black and white stood out to me because it seemed like the author was saying that some people see the world in black and white.  That means an event like Hannah's suicide would just be "Hannah's Suicide" and there would be nothing else to do with it.  The title is TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY which has the number 1 and 3 in red.  I think the red stands for anger but possibly love.

Thirteen Reasons Why  has some offensive language and a small amount of sexual content.

One last note: I encourage everyone to read this book.  I would read it again and again because it had so much of an impact on me.

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