Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thirteen Reasons Why

Okay, I'm really late in reading this book. I've been hearing good things about it for years, but I hadn't picked it up. I'm still not sure why. But I ordered it a few weeks ago, and then a couple days ago I sat down and started to read. I was just going to read a few chapters before starting my vast amounts of homework (more for a later post). I ended up reading it in one sitting. Woops. Keep reading for why that happened.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Two weeks ago Hannah committed suicide. Today, Clay comes home to find a package on his doorstep. Inside are 7 cassette tapes and a map of the town marked with stars. When he turns them on, he hears Hannah's voice. Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself, and Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why, and what the other twelve reasons are. Told from the two perspectives of Hannah's tapes and Clay, he discovers what led to the death of his classmate and crush.

This book. Oh my lord, where do I start? I thought the beginning was rather choppy, cutting out of the tapes to Clay's rather uninteresting actions. But then, somewhere along the way, I was hooked. I looked up and suddenly I was halfway through the book and didn't know how it happened. Hannah's story is compelling in that you know how it ends. You get to see her depression progress through her interactions with the thirteen people on her list. The snowball effect of small actions lead her to a dark place where she can't get out. And waiting to find out how Clay made this list made me keep flipping pages. I've read some reviews that state that they thought the reasons behind Hannah's death weren't enough in their opinion. That the people around her couldn't possibly be so stupid as to not realize she was in trouble. But that's why I liked this book. Hannah is not perfect. She is not the straight A student with everything going for her and a happy go lucky attitude. It's almost like she is more willing to accept death than life. And while that's definitely not a good thing, it made her more real in my eyes. To address the second part of the arguments, I would like to point out that people are essentially self centered. And people with depression and suicidal thoughts can be very good at hiding their pain. Combine these two, and I could see how Hannah's signs could be missed. Is it awful that all these people missed the signs? Absolutely. But it happens. It's not good, but it happens.

I loved this book. It made for a tiring next couple days because I had to catch up on work, but it was totally worth it.

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
Up Next: Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce

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