Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why

A Novel

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
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When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
Publisher: New York : Razorbill, c2007
ISBN: 9781595141712
1595141715
Characteristics: 288 p
Alternative Title: 13 reasons why

Opinion

From Library Staff

ALA Frequently Challenged Book
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group ...

Reason: drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group


From the critics


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s
Skittles4Evah
Dec 12, 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why is a suspenseful book about Hannah Baker, AKA the "New Girl" with a "bad reputation", who committed suicide. Before doing this, Hannah recorded tapes which included thirteen reasons on why she decided to end her life. Clay Jensen, was one of them. Jay Asher (author) does a great job explaining why Hannah committed suicide and how Clay was "one of the reasons why".
I think Asher did a fantastic job explaining the story and adding twists into it. The story was chair-gripping and overall, amazing. But, I did not give the book five stars because I thought it didn't give a positive message to anyone. To me, Asher was basically saying that it wasn't Hannah's fault she decided to die. Actually, I do not think that is not true. Hannah had a choice. She didn't have to commit suicide and she could have tried to make her life better, instead, she decided to get rid of all her pain by committing suicide and then, she blamed it on others. By this, I do not mean that the thirteen other people did something worth applauding. Yes, they did stuff which was wrong. But they didn't "force" Hannah to commit suicide, so she shouldn't have blamed them and said it was all their fault. It was completely her choice on committing suicide.
In the end, though, the message Asher means to give all people is visible. And that would be that even the smallest things someone may do wrong, have a snowball effect (reference from the book). People may do something wrong, thinking it won't have a big impact (bullying is one example). But for other people, this may have a huge impact on their lives, so much so, that they would want to end their misery by committing suicide. So, people should always think of the consequences before doing something questionable.

AL_SARAH Nov 29, 2017

Suspenseful and controversial. However, I did not find it very compelling or believable.

k
kwsmith
Oct 01, 2017

Hannah Baker, a high school girl, commits suicide and leaves behind a set of 13 audio tapes that cast blame upon the 13 people who most wronged her. The book does a good job of building suspense: what's on the next tape and who is the worst villain in Hannah's story? This is challenging subject matter and Asher's writing sometimes doesn't rise to the level required. Most of the characters were weakly drawn, and I found the victim, Hannah, more annoying than sympathetic. If you want to read about teenage suicide, I suggest *All The Bright Places* or *The Virgin Suicides* instead.

l
Lavair_TheFirst
Sep 24, 2017

It's not one of my favorites. It's mostly dialogue and flashbacks. But for a first book, it's surprisingly impressive! Asher is able to write in the perspectives of teenage boys and girls really well.

s
SashaE
Aug 31, 2017

I had been waiting for this book for a while after hearing about the TV show and decided I wanted to read the book first,
I read it and I was kinda bummed out.
All the hype for this book was overrated.
Some parts were really intense, but most of it was boring dialouge.

If I could talk to the author, I would probally tell him to change the font when Hanna was speaking instead of italics, that made it very difficult to understand who was speaking and who wasn't.

TIP: if you want the book to feel more intense, read it at night.

a
amylee290
Aug 25, 2017

I was hoping for something somewhat exciting to happen at the end.. Could have been better. But overall, a good read.

k
karijo19
Aug 20, 2017

Do not understand what all the buzz is about. Poorly written, bouncing between characters, teenage whining. Maybe the show is better but I cannot waste my time reading this.

b
bibliophile1387
Aug 12, 2017

A link to a NP story on 13 Reasons Why - http://nationalpost.com/entertainment/television/did-13-reasons-why-lead-to-a-rise-in-suicide-rates/wcm/5f7643cf-9e11-440b-a876-31413ad34359

d
DazzlingBlast
Aug 03, 2017

spoiler!!!!!: I hate how Alex shoots himself in the head at the end. I'm waiting for season 2 to come out, which is gonna be about why Alex suicides.

l
luxedystopia
Aug 01, 2017

I found the main character, Clay, very relate-able. His emotional processing throughout listening to the tapes revealed he had a conscience. The young woman had it bad but other teens and adults go through much worse and live. The way an initial rumor becomes a monster of its own is an evil unto itself.

The very oddest thing I found in the book was the total lack of Internet or computers. Hannah did not say anything about going online and neither did Clay or any of the other characters. You would think a person who committed suicide would have gotten some online harassment but no one, including her seems to have a computer. This book could have been written in 1985.

I also got the idea this town was a depressed area in the Midwest, not the upper middle class teens you usually see in books and on TV. Also, who goes to a liquor store to buy candy? There was a reference that Hannah had a bad experience in her old town/school but it was never expanded on, like, she was making a fresh start and it backfired.

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Age Suitability

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s
Skittles4Evah
Dec 12, 2017

Skittles4Evah thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

a
Ajohnson80130
Jun 20, 2017

Ajohnson80130 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

blue_crab_407 Jun 03, 2017

blue_crab_407 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

p
pink_flamingo_323
Apr 19, 2017

pink_flamingo_323 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

s
sleepybookworm
Apr 06, 2017

sleepybookworm thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

r
Runaway97
Mar 29, 2017

Runaway97 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

e
ecarr1212
Aug 01, 2016

ecarr1212 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

l
littlepurpledragon
Dec 03, 2015

littlepurpledragon thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

r
readmetowonderland
Oct 11, 2015

readmetowonderland thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

a
Ashw9
Jul 04, 2015

Ashw9 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Quotes

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h
h20092891
Jun 19, 2017

According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway because bees don't care what humans think is impossible. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Ooh, black and yellow! Let's shake it up a little. Barry! Breakfast is ready! Coming! Hang on a second. Hello? - Barry? - Adam? - Can you believe this is happening? - I can't. I'll pick you up. Looking sharp. Use the stairs. Your father paid good money for those. Sorry. I'm excited. Here's the graduate. We're very proud of you, son. A perfect report card, all B's. Very proud. Ma! I got a thing going here. - You got lint on your fuzz. - Ow! That's me! - Wave to us! We'll be in row 118,000. - Bye! Barry, I told you, stop flying in the house! - Hey, Adam. - Hey, Barry. - Is that fuzz gel? - A little. Special day, graduation. Never thought I'd make it.

a
ashdu4
Jun 25, 2015

"Would you want the ability to hear other people's thoughts?
Of course you would. Everyone answers yes to that question before they think it all the way through.
For example, what if other people could hear your thoughts... right now?

h
hmhill613
May 14, 2015

"Maybe if I forgot things once in a while, we'd all be a little bit happier."

CynthiaS913 Jul 01, 2013

You'll do that right? All of you? You'll fill in the gaps? Because every story I'm telling leaves so many unanswered questions.

l
Lotte_
Oct 13, 2012

"I'm sorry..........................................thankyou."

betty302010 Aug 09, 2012

" never judge a person by the way they are it hurts them in the inside and can cause manny things to happend"

busyinbillspants Jun 05, 2012

“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.”

busyinbillspants Jun 05, 2012

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

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 05, 2012

"life can give u 13 reasons"

You don't know what went on in the rest of my life. At home. Even at school. You don't know what goes on in any-one's life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person's life, you're not messing with just that part. Unfortunatly, you can't be that precise and seletive. When you mess with one part of a person's life, you're messng with their entire life. -Hannah Baker Cassette 5: Side A

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Summary

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b
bandybri66
Jun 21, 2016

the main characters crush had just committed suicide when they receive a package of cassate tapes explain why she killed herself to the thirteen people causeing her to do so

a
ashdu4
Jun 25, 2015

When high school student Clay Jenson is delivered a box containing thirteen cassette tapes Hannah Baker made he spends the night following her words across his small town and recounting the events that lead to her death.

m
Ms_Silva
Oct 23, 2012

Clay receives box of cassettes from suicide girl at school telling story of what happened. Tapes are sent and resent to each person crucial to the story. Story of lies, rumors, indifference, things not noticed, awkward teen culture, HS culture, parents too busy, teen cruelty, rape at a party, sex for the wrong reasons, and a teacher/counselor with no discernible suicide prevention skills. Clay is not the bad guy but is sickened by the story and what he might have done to stop the trainwreck if he'd only known. Students and a teacher are on the "list." Clay may be a better person after this, all lives will be changed by the tapes.

l
latifahngl
Sep 25, 2012

Just read this book, okay ?

betty302010 Aug 09, 2012

this book is about a girl who suicides herself but tells the others thatn did things to her what she couldnt tell them when she was alive. this book is so recommended

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 26, 2012

Clay Jensen, a somewhat shy high school student, returns home from school one day to find an anonymously-sent package sitting on his doorstep. Upon opening it, he discovers that it is a shoebox containing seven cassette tapes recorded by the late Hannah Baker, his classmate and emotional crush who recently committed suicide. The tapes were initially mailed to one classmate with instructions to pass them from one student to another, in the style of a chain letter. On the tapes, Hannah explains to thirteen people how they played a role in her death, by giving thirteen reasons to explain why she took her life. Hannah has given a second set of tapes to one of their classmates, the identity of whom Clay later discovers, and warns the people on the tapes that if they do not pass them on, the second set will be leaked to the entire student body. This could lead to the public embarrassment and shame of certain people, while others could face physical harassment charges or jail time. Through the audio narrative, Hannah reveals her pain and suffering and the slide into depression that ultimately leads to her death (suicide from pills). She lists her first crush, a boy who voted her "best ass in the freshman class", a former friend, a peeping Tom, a liar, a goof who takes advantage of her, a hater, a thief who steals her poems, a member of the list that already passed, a cheerleader who crashes into a stop sign, a guy who raped her in a hot tub, the guidance counselor, and Clay, her soul mate, all who thought their actions were harmless, or that they wouldn't affect or scar her. They were wrong.

b
bedard04
Sep 07, 2011

Clay, a highschool student receives a box one day coming home from school. As he begins to listen, he hears Hannah, A student that he liked that recently commited scuicide. Hannah explains that there are 13 poeple that played a part in her decision to commit suicide. The box contains 8 tapes, each side has a number, 1 to 13. each with the story of one of the 13 poeple. Clay is incredibly confused as to why he was sent the tapes, as he feels he did no wrong to Hannah. As he listens he visits different places that some of the events Hannah mentions. He spends the night, wandering the town, listening to theese tapes and learning about hannah, and other poeple that affected her decision to take her life.

c
Christina946
Jul 13, 2009

When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

Notices

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b
bibliophile1387
Aug 12, 2017

Other: A National Post Story regarding 13 reasons - http://nationalpost.com/entertainment/television/did-13-reasons-why-lead-to-a-rise-in-suicide-rates/wcm/5f7643cf-9e11-440b-a876-31413ad34359

f
frogtheworld
Nov 16, 2013

Sexual Content: rape

f
frogtheworld
Nov 16, 2013

Coarse Language: foul language

f
frogtheworld
Nov 16, 2013

Violence: aggressive actions

b
benzelli
Feb 18, 2013

Sexual Content: very specific with rape and sexual content

betty302010 Aug 09, 2012

Other: interesting and a page turner

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 05, 2012

Coarse Language: foul launguage

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