Blurb (from Goodreads):
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.
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.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
17-year-old Hannah Baker committed suicide, and now her classmate Clay is about to find out that she recorded 7 tapes, with 13 reasons why she did it.
What were those reasons? Could anyone have stopped her? And why is Clay on the tape?
This was an okay story about a girl who committed suicide, but I just had too many questions by the end of it to really appreciate it.
Hannah was a girl who needed help, but she didn’t know how to ask for it. I’m not surprised by this, I’d have had real difficulty talking to someone if I was in her position, and I still think that even as an adult it’s difficult to really deal with a problem like depression – partly because the disease itself makes you not want to deal, and not want to get help.
The storyline in this one was a tricky one, because it obviously dealt with Hannah’s suicide, but there were a few points that niggled me about this one. On a very basic level, I didn’t really see what Hannah hoped to accomplish by making these tapes – they wouldn’t benefit her in any way because she was dead. The only things she could possibly accomplish by making these tapes was to make the people she sent them to feel bad, or maybe try to make sure that these people who wronged her didn’t do the same to someone else. However, if that was the case, then she didn’t do a very good job, because she didn’t do all that she could to make sure that this didn’t happen again. I don’t want to drop spoilers, but Hannah could have done several things to bring certain people to justice, and she did none of them.
The second thing I have to question was her motivation. It obviously took a lot of planning, time, dedication, possibly script writing even to make these tapes – where did she find the motivation? If she was that depressed that she killed herself, would she really have cared enough to mess about making tapes? Making back-up tapes? Making maps?
The ending of this one was a little unsettling. Obviously Hannah killed herself, which is far from a happy ending, but I also felt that she made one person who really cared about her, feel even worse over her death, which seemed quite unfair.
I was also a little annoyed about several things that were mentioned in the course of the book that then weren’t explained. Why tell us stuff, and then not explain it? That is very annoying, I hate loose ends.
Overall I did think that this was a sad book, but it wasn’t a good-sad, it was a bad-sad (if that makes sense). I was left feeling a bit miserable, and also a bit disappointed. This book did remind me of ‘34 pieces of you’ by Carmen Rodrigues, but paled in comparison unfortunately. I wanted more answers, I wanted more emotion, and I wanted a better pace. I thought that the events that were mentioned on the tape would be worse than they really were, and I found parts of the book an bit boring.
Overall; an okay story, but there were too many unanswered questions.
6.5 out of 10.