Published: 6th August 2009
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Violence, Mild Swearing, Alcohol, Death,
Author's Blog: Jay Asher - My Blog -
You can’t □ the future.
You can’t <|<| the past.
The only way to learn the secret… is to press |>.
Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and first love – who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
All through the night, Clay keeps listening and what his discovers changes his life…
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 Hannah’s suicide. He barely even knew her… But how can he handle not knowing? So he does as Hannah says. He presses play, and he listens. What he hears will change him. Forever…
I was talking about this book with Sammee (I Want To Read That). Both of us agreed that the emotions in this book were the best aspect. Because they were: they were intense, almost on the verge of overwhelming. But as for Hannah… In any other book, I would have loved a girl like Hannah. But… the tapes. The saying “ignorance is bliss” pops to mind. I mean, could you live with yourself afterward? Knowing you’d helped push a girl to suicide? I couldn’t. And should Hannah have done it? It seemed cruel. Me and Sammee were talking about that, and we both couldn’t really understand the maliciousness of that act, sending them all those tapes. Ok, so it may have made them all better people. But, to make someone go through that, to make Clay go through that… Some of them deserved it. Undeniably. But others, they really didn’t. That was my one fault with the book. Why. Not why she died. Why she sent the tapes to them all. Rant over, back to the review…
Clay Jensen was someone I felt incredible sorry for. He honestly was distraught, horrified, that he had anything to do with Hannah’s death. He really, truly loved her. Even though he never told her, he did. (God. Break my heart, why don’t you?) He honestly obsessed over her. He wanted to look out for her. He blamed himself for not trying harder, not being able to help. He didn’t deserve it.
Hannah Baker had a slightly snarky voice, though that may have been because she was angry with the ones mentioned on the tapes. Either way, I found her rather funny. She went through a lot of rubbish. But she seemed to be so full of life. I didn’t get why. Why she’d throw it all away. And, just like Clay, I hated her for that. As she spoke, I could feel her pain. And it killed me to hear everything she’s gone through. She didn’t deserve it. But that still didn’t give me the answer to my big question: why she sent the tapes…
I loved how it was written, Hannah’s voice on the tape and then Clay talking in between, thinking, feeling, remembering. I also loved seeing how everything Hannah said made Clay realise how he’d done something wrong, how he wished he acted when he didn’t. She made him think about things he never would have thought twice about otherwise.
I’ve been left a tangle of emotions after reading this. My feelings were everywhere as I read. I felt like screaming or laughing or throwing the book away. But I just couldn’t. I had to know why. I imagine, if Clay were real, if it all were real, that is how he would have felt. And my heart just broke over and over and over again. For Clay. For Hannah. For what could have been. For what was lost. How many books can do that to you? I can count them on one hand. It was beautiful. Heartbreaking. Lifeaffirming.
I cried, a lot. And I loved every second. Thank you, Mr Asher, for writing this book. For making me think. And I promise I’ll never forget what Thirteen Reasons Why taught me. That:
“everything affects everything”.
4 Out of 5
4 Out of 5
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