Format: E-book, 336 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: 14 June 2011
Age Level: Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | 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.
So. I literally just finished this book not 20 minutes ago. I absolutely cannot wait any longer than that to tell all of you guys about this book. This book.... oh, man, this book. I don't want to say that I loved it. It just sounds so hollow in the face of what this book just did to me. To say that it touched me feels like an understatement. To say that this book has just changed my life... would I think be a little too much. It has, however, changed the way I see things. The way I want to see things.
I can't even create a review in the normal vein of things, where I talk about the characters and their flaws and virtues and say what I like and don't like about them. To do so would completely spoil everything. I can't even write their names. I think it is safe to say that every character in this book is absolutely real. They are real, live people who just happen to not exist. Whether they are likable or hateable is completely beside the point.
So I think I'll just talk about how this book made me feel. This book made my heart pound, made my breath come short, made my head feel stuffy, made me physically react in many ways. I had to put it down a couple times just so I could take a breather and get my bearings back. I pretty much had to keep reminding myself that I was not the person in the book, and none of this was happening to me.
Emotionally... It's hard to say. There are so many. I felt angry, horrified, sad, scared, and even a little guilty. To tell you what parts made me feel these things would ruin the whole story, but if you read it you'll understand.
It was hard to read this book, but not because of pace or voice or anything like that, it's just a hard topic overall. It was also very easy to read because once I began, it was impossible to stop.
I am going to recommend this book to everyone I know, and I hope that everyone who reads this review will read it too, because this book is just amazing. This is one of those books that I (and hopefully you) will remember forever.
A favorite quote: “I know. I know what you're thinking. As I was telling the story, I was thinking the same thing myself. A kiss? A rumor based on a kiss made you do this to yourself? No. A rumor based on a kiss ruined a memory that I hoped would be special. A rumor based on a kiss started a reputation that other people believed in and reacted to. And sometimes, a rumor based on a kiss has a snowball effect. A rumor, based on a kiss, is just the beginning.”