Saturday, January 21, 2012

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: 13 Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publisher: New York: Rasorbill
Length: 288 pages
Ages: Young Adults
Genera: Realistic Fiction:
Subjects: Suicide, depression, high school
Suicide, rape (non-explicit), some characters are very iffy, cussing

There are seven cassette tapes, thirteen stories, a Walkman, and one night to hear them all. Hannah Baker committed suicide, these tapes are the truth. Truth to why she decided to commit suicide and what pushed her towards the pills.
Clay Jenson receives the tapes one after school day. He pops them into the CD player and played it.

"Hello boys and girls. Hannah Baker here. Live and in stereo."

Clay is sucked into the 13 sides, wondering where he comes in this depressing tale. He will find out soon enough...

13 Reasons Why is not a book for everyone. Though I enjoyed it very much, I do see how people are disturbed by it. Even though Ms. Baker was depressed, you can see how she was depressed and blamed others for not helping her. In this point of view, it doesn't send the right message to impressionable young teens, be they female or male.
But, if you think about it from another point, it could send a good message. Perhaps the message was that is important to know how you are treating someone and how it is affecting them. It is important to help those in need.

Hannah Baker was a depressed teen, who I don't think anyone should look up to her. She stood by when someone was raped, though she knew it was wrong. She didn't know how horrible the results of the knocking down of the sign, but she knew she should call 911. She didn't.
Clay wasn't exactly a person to look up to either. I sympathised with him (how hard would it be on you to hear the last public words of a dead girl?), but never liked him particularly as a character. He wasn't anything special, no outstanding qualities except for his... humanity I guess. I enjoy human characters, and I don't mean Bella (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse) human.
The 13 Reasons are quite despicable, even if they don't mean it directly. My some of my favorite (and by favorite I mean least) Reasons are Alex Standall, Courtney Crimsen, and Marcus Cooley. I shiver in the thought of them.
The thirteenth reason felt unnecessary, I don't think a shrink should be blamed for his poor advice.
The characters lost this book a star.

The plot is very intriguing and quite original. The cassette idea is original and I love that. According to the author, he decided to use an already dated form, and have the characters realize this, to make the book timeless. He did quite well.
It began with mystery and it's body was filled with mystery, and it ends clear. The ending it very satisfying, though I forgot who the girl at the end is. It's sort of embarrassing. I'll probably rent (or buy) it again, to clear that up.
A lot of Clay's movements were unneeded. Reading him taking a sip of coffee in the middle of Hannah's narration messes up the flow of things.

What I enjoyed/didn't:
I enjoyed all the interlocking stories, as I always do. Once you finish one side, you can guess the next one. Or sometimes, I didn't. My top favorite one has to be the fourth reason, probably because that was the only one that gave me the shivers. Let me give you a hint: a peeping Tom.
As I said, this book could give the wrong messages, which isn't a pro. The rape felt unnecessary, and I didn't enjoy reading it.

In conclusion:
The writing was unique and well thought out. The characters weren't my favorite. As I said earlier, the flow of writing was disturbed by Clay's reactions. Some, like a gasp or a few thoughts on the previous passage, added another dimension to the writing, but a lot fell flat. For those looking for a story that makes you think, 13 Reasons Why is a good choice.

Favorite Side & Character: I have no favorite character. My favorite side is #4.
Favorite Quote: “You can't stop the future, You can't rewind the past, The only way to the learn the secret... is to press play.” (Hannah Baker)
Recommend?: Not to everyone.

Rating: B

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