A Thought Provoking Book

My latest favorite read: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, by Jay Asher has kept me thinking for days.

This book grabbed me so completely I kept it beside me for the two days it took to finish. In the car, THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, sat in my passenger seat. I read while waiting at red lights. I read while sitting in the Starbucks drive-up line. I read while rolling in traffic (Eek! No I didn't rear end the car in front of me--but it was close.)

Sleep? HA-HA, no way. I had no more control over "pushing stop" (or rather closing the book) on Hannah's story than Clay, one of the main characters, had. Not until I “heard” all thirteen reasons for why Jay Asher's other main character, Hannah Baker, took her life. This young adult book is expertly told from two point of views, simultaneously. Before Hannah commits suicide she documents (on cassette tape) the events and the people who took part in leading her to the cliff's edge. As we "listen," with Clay, to Hannah's recorded voice and follow the map she's left behind, we re-live her last years. We experience disgust, sadness, and regret right along with Clay. Each event is worse than the last. All are connected and create the "snow ball effect" which leads Hannah to suicide.

Jay Asher leaves us, or me anyway, in the end still asking why. Why did Hannah do it? A question, I imagine, all must feel when someone they know or love commits suicide. A question which can't be answered in a satisfactory way, ever, no matter how lengthy a letter or how many cassette tapes are left behind to explain their reasoning. Can you imagine ever saying, oh, right, okay then, that makes perfect sense now? No, me neither. But at the same time it made me think how much we don't know about what goes on with those around us. What demons they face.

Without preaching he leaves us knowing we have responsibilities, to ignore rumors, to make an offer of friendship, or just simply say hello. I'll stop. I could go on. And on some more. But I'll say just one more thing. READ THIS BOOK. It's one of those that stays with you.

Come back and tell me what you took away from the book once you're done.
For more on Jay, visit his blog here.


  1. Paula, you've made me want to pick up the book NOW! Thanks for the review. I look forward to picking it up.

    And thanks for your comment on my blog too. I was trying to figure out the link to send you when I found your comment--made my day :-)

  2. Loved this book too, Paula. I passed it on to my teenage daughter, and she stayed up most of the night reading it. Tragic and sad, but so much suspense, for lack of a better word, you can't put it down.

  3. What an AWESOME review! I know I've seen this book on some top ten lists this year so I will definitely go search it out. Thanks for letting us know about it!

  4. Wow, I haven't read it -- yet! But after your review I have to add it to my stack.

  5. Interesting. I have read this book, I also felt it was very well crafted in the sense that I couldn't put it down. I also wanted to understand. And yet, when it was over, I didn't feel the kind of emotion I feel when I've just finished a book that I've loved. I have not been able to pinpoint what it is that didn't click with me. Maybe it's the subject, so difficult, so painful. Maybe it's personal. But there was definitely a ... "but" for me. Anyway, I just thought I'd add my 2-cents :)

  6. Isn't it great when you find a book that grabs your attention so completely? I think I'll add this book to my to-read list.


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