Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

‘You can’t stop the future. 

You can’t rewind the past.

The only way to learn the secret…is to press play’

Clay is an ordinary guy, like a lot of other people in the school when he hears about Hannah Baker’s death he feels something, but what he doesn’t know is that Hannah has plans for him. After a box of tapes arrive addressed to him he can’t quite believe it when Hannah’s voice comes through the speakers, explaining that if he listens long enough he’ll know why he is one of the thirteen reasons.

This book has been on my to read list for a really long time, I finally got around to picking it up and was told after I wouldn’t regret reading it. I don’t, but I also don’t think it deserves all the hype. It’s an intriguing read and a great idea but there were some holes in the plot that just didn’t make it believable. As for the characters, I thought that Clay was just, a bit boring really, we don’t really know anything about him other than he’s a ‘nice guy’, there could have been more background about him and who he was. Hannah was different, while at first I couldn’t really understand her character, she grew on me and got a place in my heart. When I got to the end I wanted to cry, because at some points I knew how she felt, school can be a heartless place.

I think it did highlight the sheer loneliness that can be caused by rumors. Hannah, like Margo from Paper Towns, is a kind of enigma. Nobody really knows her, they just know the idea of her. These tapes, recorded before she killed herself, are the only way to know anything about Hannah, because there was no other way after everything that had happened. It also seemed to me like she could have been saved and maybe that’s the tragedy in all of it, that I’m sure if the right person had noticed she could have lived. That said, it’s easier said than done and I fully appreciate that.

To review this book is to have to make my way through a minefield of potential spoilers and connections that I don’t want to spoil for you, I do think you could have seen some of them coming though just because of the nature of the book.

I’ve given this novel three stars ***, it’s not because it’s bad, it’s a perfectly ok read but for it it really was just ok. I feel like there are better and much deeper stories that can explain what can lead a person to suicide. On the other hand I really appreciate the way Hannah’s loneliness is expressed, she’s a complex character and I definitely think that the book could have been longer. It’s that little bit more detail that I think is lacking in this to make it a great story rather than just a good one.

Review by Chloe Metzger

I just need to say if you are at a low point and considering suicide, please, please speak to someone. Your life is worth it, I promise