Thursday, March 15, 2012

review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
October 18, 2007
Young Adult | Contemporary
Pages: 288
Source/Format: Library/Hardcover
Author's Website | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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.
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.
Warning: I hated this book. I cuss in my review. If that isn't your thing, skip it. kthx.
I have a huge problem with this book. A HUGE ONE. This book is rather sexist. Hannah Moskowitz's review sums up everything I hated about this book. I would rather this book be reversed in the gender roles, so it was a boy who killed himself, not a girl. But... would people buy that? And YES, IT IS A COMPLETE cop-out for having Clay, the narrator, DO NOTHING WRONG.

BULL. SHIT. If he's on the list of reasons why Hannah killed himself, he. should. have. done. something. Argh. That pisses me off. Am I supposed to believe that Clay did NOTHING to screw up Hannah and make her want to kill herself? Really? REALLY?

I hated that Clay kept lying to his mother, and that his mother kept trying to believe it was the truth. Yes, I know teenagers lie--I was one of them--but my mother NEVER let me get away with the stupid lies he says ("working on a school project," "have to stay out late for my school project," etc.) She would have told me to get my ass home and work on it there.

I hated that it kept flipping back and forth between the narrator. Hannah would be talking, and Clay would have inner monologue between every sentence of Hannah's, or he'll say where he was, etc. I ended up SKIPPING Clay's lines just so I could focus on what Hannah was saying. It was distracting and pulled me out of the story so many freaking times I wanted to stab something.

This book is compelling--I'll give it a star for that. It kept me hooked and I read over half of it last night and I actually had to put it down because my head was swimming and my eyes were blurry. I needed sleep. And then after class today, I picked it up and finished it and now I need to take a shower. I am disgusted and frustrated with this book. I am tired of people thinking girls will kill themselves over GUYS BEING MEAN TO HER. And you know what, some girls probably do. But this is such a cliched, stereotyped book that it makes me want to hurl.

Hannah's reasoning behind her suicide makes me so angry. It all started when somebody spread a rumor about her... then she ended up on the "best ass" list... and she is getting a reputation. Oh, give me a break. As somebody who has a disgusting reputation about her, I kept my chin up and ignored everybody. If somebody grabbed my ass, I would turn around and punch them. I would tell them to keep their hands off of me. I suffered through high school because damnit, I KNOW it's the worst time of your life. But you do not kill yourself because a couple of guys decide to spread rumors about you. Shit, girl, OWN IT. Pretend that it doesn't bother you or for god's sake, flaunt your ass. It's four years, maybe more or less, but in the end, you'll graduate and won't have to see those idiots again. It's up to you. And I am not a happy camper with you right now, Hannah. Your reasons suck. Go turn around in your grave and ignore me and everybody else who hate your reasons.

I hate the one person Hannah talked to about ending her life. I hate that s/he let her walk away. Just NO. NOOOO. You run after her. You have her talk to you. You TRY to get her to see that her life is worth living, because if you don’t, her blood is on your hands. YOUR. HANDS. You are guilty.

I see why people like this book—it’ll definitely change the way I view the world, but I’m so disgusted and frustrated right now that all I really want to do is throw the book across the room, but it’s a library book. Le sigh. I just wish her reasons had been different, that Clay had done something to fuck her up more, and blah. It just… argh. No. I hated this book. It’s compelling and addictive, but I did not like it one bit.


  1. I keep stumbling across this book and wondering if I should read it, but the things you said in your review are the exact things that make me hesitate every time.

    It's good to have the insight...and thanks for the warning and confirmation.

    1. You know, I knew I might not like it before I checked it out of the library... and actually reading it just confirmed it. It brought a whole new perspective on life for me, but there were WAY too many faults for me to actually enjoy it. Sad, sad day. :(

  2. Yeesh, this doesn't sound like my kind of book at all. I think it would've made me mad, too. :/ Thanks for the honest review, Ashelynn.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  3. I've never really felt compelled to read this book, and now I'm glad I didn't. I defintiely understand why you ended up disliking it. Great review--I appreciate your honesty! =)

    -Shanon @ Escaping With Fiction

  4. When you hate something, you HATE it all the way. LOL.

    I think I will still read this one just because I've wanted to for a long time. Plus, I want to see what I think about all the things you hate it for. But, I agree that if the MC killed herself because of rumors spread about her, it's a lame excuse. And, if someone knows that someone wants to commit suicide, they need to take them seriously.

    Great review!

    1. hahaha. I was going to post this review on Amazon, then realized I would have to rewrite it and leave out the cusses and it just wasn't worth it. happens. :p

      I hope you enjoy it far more than I did! I read this book last... week? maybe two weeks ago, and I'm still very very annoyed that Clay did nothing wrong but is on the list. Seriously hate that. He SHOULD have done something or not be on the list at all.

  5. This is not something I ever wanted to read in the past. I've seen good reviews on this too but this is not my cup of tea. Her reasons that you have listed are an unfortunate reason to take your life. Seems like such a waste and completely heartbreaking for the ones left behind. Nice rant Ashelynn! I probably would be ranting too if I read this. :)

  6. I had totally mixed opinions about this one. I HATED Hannah. Not only was she a selfish bitch for killing herself in the first place, but she makes all those other people suffer with her for what, as you pointed out, were very minor things. I also thought her voice was totally wrong. She was so rational, so sarcastic and that's NOT how someone would be thinking just before killing themselves. At the same time I liked the message that what seems like a minor thing to do can be a total disaster to someone else and that you should always be mindful of what you say, even if you don't think it's hurtful, that doesn't mean it isn't.

    Love your hating reviews :P

    The Cait Files

    1. Yeah, she... was just ugh. And yeah, I liked the message--and it definitely did something to me because now I see things differently, but it just seemed so MINOR for everything else. Like REALLY, Hannah? AND CLAY DID NOTHING TO YOU?! fffffffff, why!

      thanks. :)

  7. I read this one before I started my blog and never wanted to go back and review it because so many people talk about how important this book is but all I thought was that the reasons given for Hannah's suicide seemed petty and silly to me. And then I felt mean and heartless. I just couldn't understand how she got to that point, based on what we are given. And I was also confused about this boy being on the list when... he did nothing.

  8. Ouch, this was a harsh review but I understand since is subjective and that's totally fine. However, not getting or understanding how Hanna could have killed herself is understandable too and demonstrates how, in reality, sometimes is very hard to understand other people's feeling, Specially when you are dealing with depression since, as Hanna said, everything affects everything. Needless to say that there is people who is born with depression as a genetic problem and people who is much more depressive than others. There are many facts in this book that actually support Hanna's suicide but as I said, it's not easy to empathize with all of it.
    I have the review of this book in my blog, you might one to check a different opinion. =)

    Dazzling Reads


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