Thirteen Reasons Why
By Jay Asher
Pub date: 6th August 2009
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s
So many good books out there, so little time to read them all, right? I agree. However, if you’re going to choose just one book to read this summer, make it this one.
If you follow my blog, you’d have noticed that the books I talk about are the ones that I really liked but mostly, titles that I loved reading. And I really loved Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
This YA novel revolves around 17-year-old Clay Jensen, who returns home from school to find a strange package 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. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them and if he listens, he’ll find out why.
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I am sure you’ve heard about Thirteen Reasons Why. I am sure you’ve heard about Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker. I know because it’s been all over the place – Netflix launched the TV adaptation a few months ago and it is just so good that a lot of people have decided to read the book as well.
I must confess that I watched the series before reading the book and that I was hooked from the first episode. The same didn’t happen with my friends who told me that they didn’t connect with the characters at all. Well, of course they didn’t. We are 27 years old and they are supposed to be 10 years younger than us. It is a YA novel – its aimed at young adult readers. And the same happens with the series.
I connected with the characters though, and the actors. I think most of them do a pretty good job and I really (really!) enjoyed watching the series. So I decided to give the book a try and I was not disappointed at all.
I am not going to lie, I was expecting exactly the same story… but they are different. If you read the book first and watch the series afterwards (or viceversa) you’ll find that things are not the same in the book and in the TV adaptation. That happens all the time, though and it’s normal because they have different ways of telling a story and you have to keep the viewers (and readers) hooked from the very beginning.
The plot is not only great but the way the story is told is amazing. I liked how Clay thinks about Hannah and how much you get to understand his feelings. You understand more of what happens to Hannah in the TV series so I definitely recommend watching the series too because it develops the characters a bit more – which is really interesting.
The series is much more explicit than the book and probably aimed at older viewers.
Suicide is a dark topic but it is also something that needs to be talked about. I read so many opinions around the internet and I’ve heard everything. However, I honestly don’t think the book idolises what Hannah did and neither does the series. Both state that, in spite of everything… what Hannah did was her choice.
It was the suspense and the feelings of the characters that kept me hooked. I wanted to know why Hannah did what she did. Did she really have thirteen *valid* reasons to end her life?
I guess it’s your turn to decide.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to the publisher, it was such a shocking story!