Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#24- Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher

#24- Thirteen Reasons Why


Thirteen Reasons Why is about a boy named Clay. One day he finds a package outside of his door containing 13 cassette tapes and not return label.

Feeling confused and curious he goes to his garage to find an old boom-box to listen to them and see what is going on. After clicking play he realizes that his excitement over the tapes was a mistake, because speaking back to him through this tape is Hannah Baker. Now usually getting a tape made from a girl would be a good thing, that is, if the girl you are receiving the tapes from hadn't committed suicide several weeks before receiving the tapes.

Thinking that this is some kind of messed up joke, but feeling the need to see what the tapes have to say, Clay presses play and listens to her opening dialogue. Included in the package are 13 tapes, filled with the names of 13 people and 13 reasons that she committed suicide. If you are indeed supposed to be receiving these you have gotten a map previously (Clay had gotten one put in his locker a few weeks prior) and it is now your job to listen to these tapes and pass them onto the next person on the list. Hannah threatens that if you don't pass these along, there is a second set of them and they will get out for the rest of the world to know. Put it simply; if you don't pass along these tapes all of your awful secrets could be told to the rest of the world.

With a pit in his stomach and confusion in his heart Clay presses pause to think for a moment, he had never done Hannah wrong, to the best of his knowledge. These tapes can't be meant for him. He will listen and realize he was wrong and that the map was wrongly given. Following the tapes and listening to Hannah's voice he begins to understand her as a person that he never did previously, and following her footsteps through what she considers her worst moments, he begins to see that he barely knew her at all. Listening to the tapes Clay discovers things he never knew and starts a chain reaction of feelings that will change his outlook on life forever.

If the 10/10 rating wasn't evident enough of my love for this book, let me write it very clearly right here. I Love This Book. I don't love the idea of suicide, I dont love that the girl in this book was clearly very troubled and hurt. I do however love that this book spreads the idea that one little thing can change the outcome of something very big. Each person that Hannah addresses in this book didn't think about the ongoing affect of whatever they did, in fact one person on this list probably didn't realize that by starting a rumor he would kill a girl. Sometimes our words are stronger than we can ever dream possible. If nothing else, I hope that someone who reads this book realizes that they have the power to break, or make, someone elses life. At the end of the book there is nothing that Clay can do to make Hannah come back to life, she has committed suicide and short of a time machine that can't be undone, however Clay realizes that he can change his outlook of other people, that saying a few words to someone who looks like they need a smile can go a long way. From this book I also gained the knowledge and desire to extend a hand or a smile or a few kind words and hope that will be enough for someone in the future. 

The book is written in a very cool format, each cassette side getting its own chapter and italics representing Hannah's voice through the tapes and normal font representing how Clay deals with the knowledge. I liked the voices that each person had to offer and especially liked how the entire story ended up tying into one another and the final conclusion that wrapped all the way back to the beginning of the story.

A fantastically sad read that changes perspective for sure.

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.” 


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