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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Emotional
Clay Jensen received a parcel in the mail. Inside are seven tapes. When Clay presses `play', he hears a voice he never thought he'd hear again. Hannah Baker. She committed suicide. And those who are sent the tapes had some part in her death. But... it's got to be a joke, right? Some cruel, twisted practical joke. There's no way Clay had anything to do with...
Published on 6 Oct. 2011 by TheBookAddictedGirl

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars O.k not great
This book had what seemed like a great plot that I thought seemed quite original, however did not live up to expectations.

My two main problems with this book were:

Firstly the book was set all in one night even though the tapes took us back to events gone by. Clay the guy whos turn with the tapes it was listened to them in the space of one night,...
Published on 5 Dec. 2011 by Jay

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking, 23 July 2010
This review is from: Thirteen Reasons Why (Paperback)
"Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 13 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."

When I first heard about this book, I imagined it would be about the death of Hannah and a rather morbid story. However it was very different to what I imagined. While the main character is dead, it was a story about life and rarely ventured into the awkward topic of her suicide. Death is something that people try to avoid, despite being a subject that makes people curious, and Asher has done well to satisfy the reader's curiosity without writing a depressing story.

Thirteen Reasons Why is thought-provoking, with some serious themes that makes you think about your own actions. It's impossible to read without thinking, "If one of my friends did this, why would I be on the list?" One of the main themes in the book is how small actions that are considered unimportant can lead to bigger things, as well as how not taking action is as bad as encouraging something.

It was interesting to meet the different characters throughout the book and see how their perceived image is different from reality. The tapes that Hannah records in the book show how the people she knew let her down, and throughout the book various characters act in different ways to what was recorded. Some tried to find a scapegoat, some set out to get revenge, while others tried to change their ways to make sure they didn't make the same mistake twice.

I thought the story was very well-written, keeping me up late at night when I felt the need to find out what happened next. I would recommend it to fans of more serious teenage fiction, such as Blue by Sue Mayfield or even Before I Die by Jenny Downham. Asher writes in a way which tells the reader what they need to know without slowing down the progress of the story.

A fine read which I will be recommending to everyone I can.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review for Thirteen Reasons Why, 27 May 2010
This review is from: Thirteen Reasons Why (Paperback)
I have just finished reading this book (couldn't put it down and finished it in less than 2 days), and felt the need to say something about it. This book is amazing, truly a wonder to read. Don't be put off by this being a 'teen' book, I am a 27 yr old woman and I was incredibly moved by it.

I have never been too sympathic with anything surrounding suicide, but this has made me look at everything differently, especially how our actions, no matter how small they seem to us, can deeply effect someone else. If nothing else, you will come away from this book thinking about the way you treat people, and how you would like to be treated.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent read, 3 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Thirteen Reasons Why (Paperback)
I wouldn't say it's the best YA fiction I've ever read, but Thirteen Reasons Why does grip you and keep you reading until the end.

I can see where the other reviewers are coming from when they say that Hannah's reasons don't seem quite enough- not only to for her to kill herself as she does, but to be so angry about it. She seems desperate to make everyone on the list suffer- and actually, throughout the book I found myself dislking her character. I just wanted to shout at her- "GET A GRIP! GET OVER IT!" I mean, all teenagers know what rumours can do to you in High School, and it's horrible, but Hannah really does take teenage overreaction to another level.

That said, however, the way the story was unravelled was fascinating, and throughout I was desperate to find out who was next on the list. A good read, but it probably won't change your life.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Warning, reading this book may cause severe frustration, 18 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Thirteen Reasons Why (Paperback)
I'm going to preface this by saying that I'm a teenage girl and I read this when I was younger and even more liable to "sob-story" novels, but this didn't broaden my intellectual horizons or make my bawl my eyes out. No, it made my stress levels skyrocket and my urge to burn this book almost insatiable.

So that you can see that I'm not just beating this novel, I'll say some things that I did like about it.
- I thought that the main character, Clay, was well written (apart from his "love" for Hannah, but I'll get to that later)
- When I stepped back and thought about it, I realised that the basis of the plot was interesting and I might've loved this book if my love could have relied only on that.
- The general writing style was engaging.

There is only really one thing that I hate about this book. Unfortunately, it seems to taint the rest of the pages...

The thing I hate about this book is the character of Hannah. In short, Hannah kills herself at the beginning of the book, but not before she's recorded 13 tapes "blaming" people for her death. In general, people who feel suicidal tend to blame themselves for many things, which is why they kill themselves instead of fighting others who might've caused their unhappiness; so a girl on the brink of suicide wouldn't do something so sadistic to make people feel guilty. She just wouldn't.

Hannah spends all of the tapes that Clay listens to basically whinging about her life. There isn't any "My life doesn't hold any meaning for me anymore, and that's why I'm ending my life" sentences in it. Hannah is a stupid, melodramatic teenager who has a bunch of slightly sucky things happening to her and thinks that that is an adequate reason to overreact completely and kill herself. She talks about how traumatising it was to witness a rape. She could've said something to stop it, but didn't. Apparantly the rapist should be ashamed of himself, not because he raped someone, but because he didn't check the closet to see if a drunk Hannah was in it. She's pretty self-centered.

And the fact that Clay can't see past these millions of irritating flaws serves to irritate me more. It's like when you know somebody really annoying and they seem to annoy nobody but you. I quickly stopped being able to relate to Clay, and when you can't relate to the main character after page 10, something is wrong.

I'd recommend reading to anyone. Even if I don't particularly love a book, I almost always recommend it in order to further the passtime, but I wouldn't recommend anybody reading this.

It really sucks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average, 31 July 2011
This review is from: Thirteen Reasons Why (Paperback)
Being a 15 year old an lying within the teenage category this book is aimed at I thought that this book was very weak. I felt that the character of Hannah was very off-putting and that her reasons for taking her life were pathetic, unabling me to have any compasion for her. I enjoyed the layout of the text whereby Clay gives his opinnions on the tapes which added interest in the storyline which i think was well needed. However, due to the fact that Hannah was not very likeable I did not enjoy this book thereby scoring Thirten Reasons Why a 3 out of 5.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow., 30 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Thirteen Reasons Why (Paperback)
I put this book down, looked at it, and actually felt horribly blown away. The events in this book, the things that lead to Hannah's suicide are every day things that happen to many girls including myself. The way it's so easy to relate to makes it a more disturbing and grabbing read. I felt so moved once I'd read it, and it does essentially open your eyes to the world.
I loved it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars That's It?, 17 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Thirteen Reasons Why (Paperback)
I have I say that I’m extremely disappointed with Thirteen Reasons Why. What’s all the hype about? I know suicide is a touchy subject, but I feel like this story was just so unrealistic. Yes, I said it. You may think I’m crazy, but no, I’m serious.

Okay, I know how serious suicide is. It’s such an awful, saddening thing. I thought in this novel, we would learn just how hard it is to be dealing with thoughts of suicide. Well, we didn’t really get into Hannah’s mind and emotions, in my opinion. I really don’t think Jay Asher did a good job at writing a character dealing with suicidal thoughts. Sure, we heard things like “I wish I would just die” in the story, but it’s much deeper than that.

It pains me to say this, but I don’t think Hannah’s reasons were legit reasons to kill herself. I think she was a little bit selfish. I don’t want to sound offensive in any way, but sometimes I was just like “Seriously?” I’ll give you an example. I won’t give anything away, but if you’ve read the story then you may, or may not, agree with me that there was someone in a very much worse position than Hannah in Cassette 5, Side B. That other character, Jessica, went through something that other people kill themselves because of. That alone. And that’s just one of the reasons why I think Hannah’s reasons weren’t proper reasons to commit suicide.

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”

This is not a happy story, I’m not trying to say that what Hannah did was silly. I did shed a tear once or twice, but that was after reading. I just think that the idea and layout of Thirteen Reasons Why is so unique, it had the potential. But I was really let down. I’m sure we all know people who’ve committed suicide, whether it was from national news, or more personal. And I think we all can come up with a million reasons why they killed themselves, but none of Hannah’s reasons were serious enough to be believable.

I disliked the writing style. It was very simple and some lines were just pointless and made the story line boring. For example, “A drop of warm coffee spills onto my finger. I watch it slide across my knuckles and drip to the floor.” Is that really necessary? At times I didn’t like the way the monologue switched from Hannah to Clay. Sometimes it would only be a paragraph each, maybe even a line! It got a bit tiring.

“A lot of you cared, just not enough.”

It’s such an upsetting topic to write a novel about, but I feel like someone needs to write one to educate people on how serious suicide is. I was so hoping Thirteen Reasons Why would be that novel, but it wasn’t. Jay Asher should’ve made Hannah’s reasons more severe, more serious, and I know I’ve used that word many times already but it needs to be said.

I can’t say I connected with any if the characters in this book, because I didn’t. Sure, there were some characters that I liked and were glad they were in the story, but I never related to any of the characters in any way. And I think the characters should be a bit more relatable for a book like this, aimed at young readers after all.

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”

There were some lines in the story that I thought really mattered. This is one of them. I liked how there were some meaningful words said in this story. It’s really one of the only things I like about the book.

Overall, Thirteen Reasons Why was a disappointment. I really expected a lot more, with all the hype surrounding it. It had potential, it really did. But it needed to be written better, and, well I’ve already explained my reasons for disliking this book. I won’t be reading Thirteen Reasons Why again, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.


If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, there is help out there. There are organisations such as Suicide Prevention Ireland or Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you need help, get help.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play . . .", 4 Sept. 2009
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Thirteen Reasons Why (Paperback)
This is such a hard book to review. On the one hand, I can see what Asher was trying to do, what he was trying to achieve. Whilst on the other, there were times when the book frustrated me. Suicide is a huge subject to tackle and it is the sort of thing that people will always disagree on. Is it the coward's way out, for example, or is it just the most tragic cry for help a person can make? With THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, Asher puts across the idea that you can never truly know how your actions will affect another human being. You will never know, because you do not know what else is going on in their life, therefore you do not know how your actions add to this. OK, so the premise is fine, good even. But there is something about this book which stops me from giving it a higher rating.

Whilst reading, and since I have finished it, I have been thinking and trying to figure what it is that is niggling at me. And, personally, I think it is the character of Hannah, the girl who kills herself. She comes across as very angry - all though the tapes she accuses those who have done her wrong. Working as a counsellor, I think this is partly wrong. If she was suicidal, I think the main state for her would be desperation, not anger.
Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it doesn't matter, but for me something felt untrue about this book. However, if nothing else, it does encourage us to consider how we treat those who we come into contact with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money on this, 9 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Thirteen Reasons Why (Paperback)
I was persuaded to buy this due to the rave reviews. However, I found this book to be so so; I felt that it was poorly written and that the ending was just lacking. I would recommend The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes instead which is well written and really thought-provoking.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Touching, 6 Aug. 2011
I can see why this book came so highly recommended. I would particularly point you in the direction of the audiobook for two reasons: One: The format of Hannah's suicide note is audio. Two: the twin narrators were phenomenally well-suited to their roles. Through the beauty of the audiobook version, it seemed like Clay and Hannah were, at times, having some kind of eerie, post-mortal conversation. This made the book so much more powerful as Clay's responses to Hannah's strange suicide note are so heartfelt and genuine that you have to wonder if he might have been able to help her, if only she had given him a real chance to do so. I really enjoyed the perspective of the male protagonist. It made a nice change in a category of literature which often has a lot of female perspectives.

I suppose that we, as an audience, have to be able to see the chance that Hannah passed up on. The message to readers can then point out that there is always one chance of happiness left. We wouldn't want things to be too dismal now, would we? I was worried at first that, as we only get Clay's perspective on the matter, we might only see Hannah's suicidal proclivities as selfish. However, Asher and his protagonist explores perspectives on suicide and how people who try to get help can be seen as pathetic or "trying to get attention". Let's be fair, if you're trying that hard to get attention, then you might just need it.

I listened to this audiobook while I was painting my bedroom, a job I had not been looking forward to! This is why I love audiobooks, they allow you to read while getting on with the necessary chores of life. This audiobook had me mesmerised from the get-go. I know my mum would tell me to stop reading books about such dismal subject matter ('Iya mam!) because she thinks they'll make me miserable. But I find that such books often deal so excellently with the tough subjects that they turn out to be quite life affirming! Thirteen Reasons Why had such wonderful characters, a great depth of emotion and, in the end, a rather lovely message.
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Thirteen Reasons Why
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Paperback - 6 Aug. 2009)
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