Book Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher


This book oozes awesome. I wanted to read it for so long, but I never got the chance. Finally, I caved and coughed up the 10$ it cost at Books-A-Million. Totally worth it.

Hannah is dead. She commits suicide, but doesn’t leave just any old note behind to explain. Instead, she records 13 tapes with 13 names who helped lead her down the dark path she disappeared into. Now, Clay has received the tapes, and he spends night listening to them. His emotions go haywire as he hears the voice of the girl he loved from afar for so long, yet he’s missed his chance forever.

In the beginning, I didn’t like it. My expectations were so high, and they crashed on the first page. I didn’t like Hannah; I didn’t like the format; I didn’t like the story.

Once I became accustomed to the layout, things started looking up. Asher writes in italics for Hannah’s tapes, and he writes Clay’s reactions in normal print. Every once in a while I would forget the font changed and have to reread the section again. While it was hard to get used to, I like how he made it two perspectives without doing chapter by chapter. I felt it was necessary to read Clay’s thoughts as soon as they happened, not wait for a clump of them.

The story is so suspenseful. Hannah toys with the listener, daring them to stop the tapes, knowing the won’t. It’s eerie, knowing this girl is dead. The reader as well as the listener has to– needs to– keep listening. A mixture of horror, guilt, and pity keeps them reaching for the next tape and us flipping the page. And a whole bucket full of curiosity.

You can’t just stop reading. It’s like finding a letter from the 1850s or one written by a dead relative. You have to read it. And Hannah’s sarcastic and blunt comments are a perfect fit for the story.

The idea, the plot, the layout are all perfect. Loved it. Though I didn’t love the characters.

Clay is the exception. Clay is such a sweetie. He feels only grief for his lost love, and I felt his heart tearing more with every word she spoke. He wanted to help her. He offered to help her. Yet she didn’t let him in, and that kills him inside.

Hannah, on the other hand, is mean. I did not like her one bit. You cannot sit here, give 13 people tapes explaining why you committed suicide, and then BLAME THEM for it. That is mean! These people are permanently scarred now. Maybe she wanted revenge, though she said it was purely for the facts. Not to mention, I didn’t think half the people did things that were all that bad. I know, she was just proving that every little thing you do has a chain reaction, but that is NOT the way to go about it.

For one, you killed yourself. You cannot blame other people for your feelings. I’m sure they contributed to the emptiness and depression you felt, but they did not kill you. And people like Clay wanted to help. HE WAS THERE FOR YOU AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN CARE!!!

Sorry, back to reality. My heart got ripped out of my chest during this book. Not because of Hannah’s story. Not one bit. The truth: I didn’t feel bad for her at all. Maybe I’m heartless. The only person I felt for was Clay. He did nothing wrong. He had a crush on her! An innocent crush, and she stepped all over him in life. And now in death! I just wanted to hug him.


Any book that can make me feel so much emotion is a great book. I felt empty and depressed and longed for a better explanation at the end, which are all the signs of a good book.

5 Stars


3 thoughts on “Book Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Books that would be on My Syllabus if I Taught Importance of YA 101 | Stealing Pages

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Books I’d Give to Readers Who Have Never Cried While Reading | Stealing Pages

  3. Pingback: Top Ten Books I’ve Read so Far this Year | Stealing Pages

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