Sunday, 8 June 2014

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


I've already mentioned this book quite a few times on my blog and I wasn't planning on reviewing it but after finishing there was quite a few things that I had to say about it. Overall, I gave this book a 95% rating and here is why: 
Thirteen Reasons Why is about a girl who commits suicide and Clay Jenson who attended her high school and had a massive crush on her. Right before she takes the pills that are responsible for her death, she records the thirteen reasons why she does so on audio tape. Each reason connects to a different person and the tapes are sent to these people after she kills herself. Each person is responsible for passing the tapes on to the next person. When Clay returns home from school one day, he finds the tapes and begins to listen, he is one of the reasons. This is the story of why Hannah killed herself, Clays reaction to hearing them and his aprehension to discover the part he played in it.
I think this idea is really interesting, unique and almost a bit dark. It is almost difficult to read because of the intense emotions that are thrown at you but it makes the whole experience more truthful and gives you a much deeper understanding
The story starts off the morning after Clay listened to the tapes and then flashes back to when he found them. He starts listening to them and we get to read large chunks of Hannah's story, followed by Clays reaction. The transition between the two is done really well and makes it very interesting as it makes the reader react to the tapes in the same way Clay does, rather than in the way of someone who didn't know her. It makes the story much more interesting and triggers many more thoughts and emotions about the topics that are addressed throughout. 
Because the majority of this book is Hannah speaking through audio tapes, it is written quite differently as spoken language can be very different to written language. This made it difficult to get in to. It was needed though as it makes it so much more realistic and relatable. It make you feel more like you are listening to something rather than reading it.
The story was very deep and thought-provoking and brings up interesting and difficult themes that are not glossed over.  It showed how so many different things, both big and small, can continue to build up  until you've had enough of the struggle and pain. It might seem like one little thing to the other person but on top of everything else it is just another thing that makes life hard. You never know what is going on in someone's life, what struggle they're are going through and one small thing that you've payed a part in could make it a hell of a lot worse. It made me think about how careful you have to be not to do hurtful things, how careful you have to be to make sure someone is truly alright. 
After reading it, it made me feel quite negative about life in some ways because of how bad it can be, of what can go on and of all the secrets that somewhere or someone can have that we don't even know about. However, I think that once I have had time to think more about this book and organise my thoughts it will be something that I could take in a positive way and make me have a more positive outlook on life, making it a very influential read. 
It was not perfect by any means but I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a darker, deeper contemporary and like books with a meaning behind them.
Have you read Thirteen Reasons Why? What were your thoughts on it?
I hope you enjoyed my very first review, hopefully it wasn't to terrible.
Love Ellen xxx