Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Rating: StarStarStarStar


Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen 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.

Literary Awards: 2010 South Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Book Award, 2010 Georgia Peach Honor Book Award, Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice


If my love were an ocean, 
there would be no more land. 
If my love were a desert, 
you would see only sand. 
If my love were a star- 
late at night, only light. 
And if my love could grow wings, 
I’d be soaring in flight.


Thirteen Reasons Why is one remarkable read! Although it won’t make my favorites list, i have to give proper due to 13RW for reasons that: (1) it did not glorify the idea of suicide, (2) it fully captured the horrific realities of high school life, and (3) it gave hope no matter how somber the story got. 13RW is a must-read for every teen, that’s for sure.

I was prepared to feel sorry for Hannah, but that did not happen. If anything, I was intimidated by her character! Reading her POV was so addicting because the victim of a suicide doesn’t act like a victim at all. Hannah is angry, bitter, revengeful. Asher made me want to get to know her better but alas, she’s dead. 😦 Clay is one character so defined that only a guy like him can handle Hannah’s secret and still come out alive. He’s confused, regretful, full of remorse. I love how he broke down… and slowly he found a way to deal after Hannah’s death. Sometimes i got confused following Hannah’s and Clay’s story (they are told simultaneously) and that kinda made my reading a little challenging.

The storyline is very realistic, too realistic for me that the part where Hannah explained why Clay is on the tapes, my chest tightened and my eyes threatened to cry. Of all the reasons why Hannah took her life, there’s one that scared the crap out of me: Bryce Walker. Jay Asher, you are one effective writer to make a normal guy like Bryce frightened me.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a very emotional read so make sure you pick it up when you are tolerant for some gritty, heart-wrenching story. You think those harmless things you did and those little words you said way back in high school is forgotten? Think again. Because someone’s life might have changed by your actions, inactions and words for the better. or for the worst.

#11 Off the Shelf Reading Challenge 2011



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”


8 thoughts on “Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

  1. Great review, I’ve heard a lot of the same things about this book. It sounds very emotional, which is beautiful if an author can evoke those kinds of feelings from the reader. I’ll have to pick this one up soon.


  2. I understand that you didn’t feel sorry for her, but in a way, she really isn’t looking for us to pity her because her mind is already set and she hates us (well, not us but her high school classmates) for not acting on time, when she really needed it. So, I guess she just lost hope, especially because of the last person on the tapes; he was the last hope. She didn’t really give us room to feel sorry for her; she wanted to tell her story.

    And I like the words you used in your review and I’m going to quote you here: “You think those harmless things you did and those little words you said way back in high school is forgotten? Think again.” And in that quote we find the message of the book. The truth, I loved this book, it’s a favorite of mine and I wish I would’ve read it in high school, like you said. It’s dark and it’s not pretty but it’s realistic and to think that there’s kids out there feeling the same way Hannah felt? Yeah.

    Okay, I’m sorry for the ramble and long comment. 🙂

    – Mary [Anxirium]

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