“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.”-Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why
Book rating: 4 out of 5
Goodreads’ Book Description:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
Valeria’s Book Review:
Sometimes you don’t really know how much you affect a person until it is too late. Whether you realize it or not, the people that surround us, see us and see how we treat them. If we are kind, mean, disrespectful towards them…whatever it may be, they see it and never forget it.
A touchy subject that not many people talk or want to talk about, is spoken throughout the book.
“I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.”
Hannah Baker has committed suicide.
“But you can’t get away from yourself. You can’t decide not to see yourself anymore. You can’t decide to turn off the noise in your head.”
We see throughout the book the reasons as to why she did what she did. And by recording these tapes and having them passed around to those 13 names on her list that had some involvement in it, she explains the reasons that made her mind up to committing suicide.
The story is told through Clay’s POV.
Clay had a major crush on Hannah, but he never got the chance to tell her how he really felt. She was gone too quickly, only making him feel worse after receiving the tapes knowing that his name and story is on one of them.
What could he have done? What did he do that made Hannah write his name down on the list?
They both saw each other at school and work, but he never had the courage to talk to her. Until the night of the party, that changed both Clay and Hannah’s life. Clay realized that night when he finally shared a moment with Hannah, that it was more than a crush what he felt for her. Hannah felt good and at peace with Clay, but she realized that the rumors that were spread about her only seemed to be adding up to be true that night. Her actions left both her and Clay stunned by pushing him away, only hurting her feelings more.
“I wanted people to trust me, despite anything they’d heard. And more than that, I wanted them to know me. Not the stuff they thought they knew about me. No, the real me. I wanted them to get past the rumors. To see beyond the relationships I once had, or maybe still had but that they didn’t agree with.”
Clay cared about her. He wanted to be there for her, but by Hannah pushing away he couldn’t do anything because it was too late.
Along with Clay’s thoughts and actions throughout the story, we also get to read Hannah’s recordings of every tape in every chapter. Jay Asher did a great job by allowing us to see how this whole situation has affected Clay, and how he feels when he listens to what Hannah went through in her own world. The style of writing, and how he incorporated it all, with going back and forth with both of their POV’s made it so much more heartfelt and intrusive as to what they felt.
“He looks out into the empty street, allowing me to sit in his car and just miss her. To miss her each time I pull in a breath of air. To miss her with a heart that feels so cold by itself, but warm when thoughts of her flow through me.”
Many people are just not comfortable with speaking about these things, and with this book we feel for Hannah. We might not fully understand her decision to doing so, but we get a sense of what she believed and thought that lead her to do this. And we can feel her pain and ache of the people that she trusted, or believed in someway, somehow to be a friend to her but only ruined her in the end.
“Sometimes we have thoughts that even we don’t understand. Thoughts that aren’t even true—that aren’t really how we feel—but they’re running through our heads anyway because they’re interesting to think about.”
It really is a sad and tough subject to read. The thought of someone going through this, and thinking these things, especially at such a young age breaks my heart. I know it might be hard to believe, but this is the reality of some people. Many people do go through this and we really don’t know because those feelings are being masked or hidden to not show anyone else. And all you could do, like Clay, is see the final results of that and not be able to do anything to save them…
“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own.”
The whole concept of the story is to never judge someone. Never assume what someone is going through in their own life. Everything might seem fine on the outside, but you never know what happens behind closed doors. Be kind to one another. Everyone is fighting a battle.
“A lot of you cared, just not enough.”
Overall, this was a good book. It has so much depth and emotion, and it is very well written and detailed. Jay Asher does an amazing job at allowing us to feel the same emotions that both Hannah and Clay feel. I highly recommend this book!
And don’t forget to catch Jay Asher’s new novel What Light out now!