When I finally pressed the pause button on my iPhone, I was numb. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t think. And all I could hear was Hannah Baker’s scratchy voice, explaining to Clay why she killed herself.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher will change the way you think and make you realize what an impact your actions have on the people around you. In the book, Clay Jensen receives cassette tapes from a classmate who committed suicide: Hannah Baker. Yet why he, the boy who had a crush on her is the reason for her death remains a mystery until he listens to the tapes.
The plot isn’t overtly complicated and yet the simple, heartfelt prose works its magic on the reader. The story is told from both Clay’s and Hannah’s perspectives, which provides the reader with a back-story and often a more sinister outlook on experiences that otherwise seemed “innocent.” Although they seem like people you could pass on the street without stopping for a second look, this book tells you just how much you could misjudge someone from their outward appearance.
Listening to this book amplified the effect that it would have otherwise had on me. By the time the book was finished, I felt personally invested in the story. No longer was it just another book with an interesting plot. I wasn’t at home, lying on my bed, ears tuned in with anticipation. I was wandering the streets with Clay and following Hannah’s instructions. I was listening in disbelief and shock as Hannah’s disembodied voice told her story.
I felt so changed – so different afterward that even now, a month later, my urge to write about this book finally prompted me to create a blog and write this review. And so here I am, telling you the reader that you should read this. Especially if you’re a fan of realistic fiction.