Author: Jay Asher
Lexile: 550Genre: Young adult fiction, Mystery, Drama
Rating: 4/5 stars
This book is considered young adult fiction because there are types of drama that only teens would have, also it is in the point of view of a high-schooler's life. The story takes place in a small part of a town (they never specified what city or where it is). The time is most likely current since it never really effects the story. The setting is a big part of the story because while Clay listens to the tapes he travels around town, following the path of where Hannah’s stories took place. There’s even a map at the beginning of the book, so the readers can see where all the places are. The protagonist is Hannah, and even though the reader never meets her personally, we still know all her thoughts and feelings throughout the book. The main conflict is that Hannah commit suicide (before the book started, so we never heard from her personal point of view) and now she’s sent all these tapes (explaining why she killed herself) to people who have somehow caused her death. Now, Clay, who liked Hannah and knew her personally, has to listen to why she killed herself on these cassette tapes.
The beginning starts off with Clay finding the tapes on his doorstep. Then, the rising action is when he finds out that the tapes were sent to people who caused her death. She explains that the thirteen people who are to hear these tapes did something (or didn’t do something) that caused her death. Upon this knowledge, Clay is extremely nervous to know what she said about him. So Clay ventures into the night, cassette player (he borrowed a walkman from his friend Tony) and map in hand. The climax is when Clay finally listens to his tape, and he discovers that he didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, Hannah actually liked him. The falling action is when Clay reaches the end of the tapes. Finally, the resolution is when Clay sends the tapes off to the next person (which is actually the start of the book), and he’s forced to move on. The theme of this book is that all our actions have consequences. I know this because everything that happened to Hannah, even the smallest things that people just overlooked, affected her in a way no one can ever come back from. Even if someone thought they weren’t doing anything harmful, it still caused something horrible to happen. For example, when Zach took all the notes from Hannah’s compliment bag, it seemed small but she really needed something to keep her alive. Or when Alex violated her in public. He didn’t think much of the gesture, in fact he thought it was funny, but it meant much more to her.I liked how as Hannah was telling her stories, we could hear stories from Hannah's point of view as well as Clay’s point of view. Clay always shows how he never knew something was going on with Hannah, and that shows how this could very well happen in the real world. I also liked how realistic Clay’s reactions were. Usually, mostly in movies, people react over the top to small things that aren’t important to the story. However, in Thirteen Reasons Why, Clay acts almost exactly how I would act (if I was ever listening to something like this and in public). I like this because I feel more connected to a book when I can relate to it. If you like drama and mystery than this book is for you. Especially if you like teen novels, read Thirteen Reasons Why. This book is filled with teen drama and the mystery never stops.
Disclaimer: this book deals with suicide
Contributed by: Brynne Bursack