Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherTitle: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Genre: Young Adult
Source: bought
Published: October 18, 2007 by Razorbill

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.

My Thoughts:

When I first heard of Thirteen Reasons Why and its premise, I knew I had to read this book. I’ve seen nothing but outstanding reviews for this book, not to mention the countless awards it has received as well. And let me just say, bravo Mr. Asher, BRAVO!

We follow Clay Jensen from the moment he finds the box on his door step until he mails it onto the next person. Clay comes home from school and finds a package addressed to him at his door step. When he opens it up he finds a shoebox full of cassette tapes, seven tapes in all. He goes out to the garage and pops in the cassette labeled number one, side A.

Hello, boys and girls. Hannah Baker here. Live and in stereo. No return engagements. No encore. And this time, absolutely no requests. I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.

Now can you see why this book caught my attention from the very beginning? Trust me, you’ll swallow it in one sitting. You'll stay up all night to finish this book.

Hannah makes the disheartening decision to end her life. She committed suicide by way of swallowing pills and she has left a suicide note in the form of the cassette tape recordings. To me, this is completely eerie! Listening to someone’s voice, someone who is no longer with us, is haunting and eerie. It gave me the sense of false hope and denial. Like she really isn’t dead. But she is. You're a day late and a dollar short.

The rules are pretty simple. There are only two. Rule number one: You listen. Number two: You pass it on. Hopefully, neither one will be easy for you.

Hannah threatens to release a second set of the tapes in a very public manner if the package doesn’t make it through all of the people it’s intended for. And since Clay received the tapes, he’s on one of them and therefore he’s one of the reasons. So, why is Clay on the list? He’s a good guy. He liked Hannah. I mean he liked her. What could he have possibly done to make this girl want to end her life? As I read the parts of Hannah's recording, I couldn't help but feel so helpless. I wish someone would have paid closer attention to the signals Hannah was leaving.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a compelling look at how people's actions, even the smallest ones, can have an impact on others. And what we might not realize is that these actions and the impact they cause can snowball into so much more. Asher’s riveting debut novel on such a morose subject matter captured my attention and my heart.

Asher is definitely an author to watch out for. He has the ability to grab the reader and pull them right into the heart and soul of the story. Thirteen Reasons Why was a thought-provoking, page-turning read full of suspense. I was instantly pulled into the story from page one. Check back tomorrow for my interview with Mr. Asher!

Brianna’s Rating:
5 Frogs


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Unfortunately, there have been a few headlines in the news recently regarding people who decided to commit suicide. There was Casey Johnson, heiress to the Johnson & Johnson Company. There was also Andrew Koenig, the guy who play Mike Siever's best friend on Growing Pains. And most recently, Marie Osmond's teenage son. This book should definitely be part of the school curriculum and required reading program. I think we all could be a little more aware of suicidal signals - teenagers, adults and especially teachers and school administrators.

People, especially pre-teens and teenagers going through adolescence, need to know that they are not alone. There are people available to talk to. There is so much more to life, so much out there to experience. If you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to, you can call 1-800-SUICIDE or visit, both of which are available 24/7.

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. I've wanted to read this since I read about it, and you make it sounds awesome! Now I need to get it, which is not easy, since I'm in Argentina, and it's not iout here yet :(
    Graet review!

  2. Can you get it on Amazon or Book Depo? It really is an amazing book!

  3. I agree with you about being a must read in high schools. This book has such a powerful message and it's told in a very moving way. I listened to it on my ipod while walking one day and cried on the middle of the trail. This is a great book. Good review.

  4. This sounds like a really interesting read. I'll definitely be looking out for it.

  5. This sounds like a powerful book, and hopefully it will help teens to really see the consequences of committing suicide.
    I'm defo going to check this book out.

  6. I just got this book so hopefully I'll like it as much as you. Your review has totally extended my excitement for when I finally get a chance to sit down and read it.

  7. I really liked this book, too, and I agree it is an important one. I liked that there was no huge dramatic event that pushed Hannah to commit suicide, bu a series of little things : it felt realistic, and like you said it showed that the smallest actions can have their importances.

  8. I have been wondering what this book was like. Now you've convinced me: I have to read it! The feeling of wishing she wasn't dead reminds me of Before I Fall---you know she's dead, but you keep wishing she could come back.


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