Thursday, July 14, 2011

Audio Books Anyone?---Thirteen Reason Why by Jay Asher

I finished the audio book version of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher last night.

"Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several 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. 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."

Wow, what can I say?  I listened while I cleaned the house.  I listened as I did laundry.  I listened while I cooked supper, and I finished it in bed last night.  I couldn't stop listening.  You hear two voices all through the book--Clay's and Hannah's.  Some of it was hard to listen to.  Some of it was creepy.  A lot of it was sad.  I just wanted to yell at everyone in the book--can't you see she needs help?--I wanted to plead with Hannah--just wait! It will get better.

She was very confused.  I believe it's fairly obvious that Hannah had issues long before she came to the new school and met the 13 people on the tape.  All of those people did wrong, but she allowed herself to be treated that way in the beginning which leads me to believe that she had deeper problems than she was willing to let us in on, one of which I am sure was low self-esteem.  I hold the adults in the book most responsible.  They should have seen, but then again I know it's not always that simple.

I don't know if I would call a book about a teen girl's suicide a "good" book.  It's a book that makes you think.  It makes me think of girls I knew in school, the teenage girls in my life now, and the teenage girl my daughter will become.  I think it boils down to the all important SELF-ESTEEM.  If girls have a high self-esteem, even when bad things happen they'll be ok in the end.  But low self-esteem opens the doors to all kinds of dangers.  Yep, this book made me think, and I couldn't stop listening.


  1. So glad you posted this one! Like I said, I have wanted to read it for a long time. I had to wait a while because the last book like this that I read was Julie Anne Peters's "By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead." That book had a happy ending...but wow. It was very powerful and disturbing. I loved it, but I just couldn't face another book like it just yet.

    I think I will pick this one up soon! Thanks!

  2. I might try to read or listen to this one. I don't really care for sad books. They put me in a funk.

  3. Susie--I bet you'll like it!

    Beth--I think you'd be ok with this one.