Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 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.
I've been meaning to read this book for awhile now. I've heard many great things about it, and it's gotten tons of positive reviews. Not I know why.
When I started this book, I was about 50 or so pages into Scott Westerfield's Uglies (another one I had been meaning to read...review coming soon), and it just wasn't holding my attention well. I picked up this one to take a look at while eating dinner (yes, I read while I eat...doesn't everyone?!).
I was immediately drawn into the story. Suicides at any age are a terrible thing, but somehow teen suicides seem even sadder. Right from the very beginning, I wanted to know WHY Hannah thought she had no way out. I didn't really understand what kind of mindset a suicidal person had. Jay Asher deftly takes us through the events that led up to Hannah's death, and while some seem of little importance, everything that happened to her, and every person she mentions on the tapes, contributed to her decision.
The only part that bothered me a bit was the formating...Hannah's audio was told in italics, while Clay's thoughts were in regular type. The constant switching back and forth between two viewpoints successfully told the story, but it made stop several times to re read a passage and remember who was talking.
Though Hannah is gone, there are others like her, others that want help but don't know how to ask straight out. Because of Hannah's tapes, Clay is motivated to to help at least one of them, and thus the book ends on a hopeful note instead of a depressing one.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please contact the Hopeline for help. They will listen, I promise!