Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In Case You Missed It - Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Published: October 2007
Publisher: Razonbill

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen 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.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

I am part of a book club that meets once a month.  Just a small, very informal group of like minded adults, who sometimes spend more time talking about life and work than about books.  We pick and choose our books from any and every genre - we even have a BYOB night once a year - that's bring your own Book by the way, not Bottle - although a glass of wine never goes wrong. 

This March the choice was mine, and I picked Thirteen Reasons Why because I really wanted to discuss it with someone. I first read Thirteen Reasons Why shortly after it was published in 2007 and it has stayed with me.  It was, in fact still is, a profoundly moving book.  It is also a book that can be interpreted in many different ways, by many different people.  I was surprised when time came to discuss this book with my friends, because I discovered that not everyone saw it the way I did.  We had a very intense discussion about the book and not everyone felt the way I did.  One of my friends saw things from a completely different angle and that opened my eyes yet again to everything that is in this book.  There is so much going on here on so many different levels - perfect ISU material.

The blurb states that this book will deeply affect teen readers.  I want to add that it will probably deeply affect everyone who reads it, for a myriad of different reasons. If you haven't read Thirteen Reasons Why yet, go out and find a copy and try it.  You may love it, you may hate it, but I guarantee you will feel something after reading it. 


  1. I was blown away by this book when I read it-five years ago. And it still stands out as one of the most powerful YA books I've ever read. I htink that it carries such an important message to the readers-your actions good or bad does affect people. LOVE it.

    1. How right you are. The message I got was much the same - doing nothing doesn't make you any less guilty.