Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is an incredible teen read.  Clay receives a package of 7 cassette tapes with 13 sides recorded.  The package has no return address, but once Clay begins listening to the cassettes he realizes that the person speaking is Hannah, the girl who committed suicide two weeks ago.  She goes on to tell her listeners that if they received the cassette tapes, then in some way they were partially responsible for her killing herself.  Naturally, Clay believes it was a mistake that he received the package, but he keeps listening to all of the tales of the other 12 people involved to find out if he did do something to hurt Hannah.

This is one of the best teen reads I have read this year.  It is a haunting tale with such unique voices that will instantly capture your attention and hold it till the last page.  As you read the story, you can relate to Clay who both wants to continue listening to the cassette tapes, but is growing more afraid to find out about the “crimes” of  his classmates.  Asher does such a great job of showing Hannah’s perception of events that to some extend you find yourself understanding why she is so depressed (however, you also find yourself wishing she would have found help from someone); he did such a great job of giving Hannah her voice and making her real.  I was amazed at how interesting this book turned out to be since it was based on a single night of listening to cassettes, but Asher did a fabulous job and I would highly recommend this book.

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