Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons WhyAuthor: Jay Asher
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

I locked out the stars and I never saw lightning again.

Hannah Baker lives a typical teen life.  She goes to school.  She works a minimum wage job.  She isn’t the most popular kid in school, but she isn’t a complete outcast.  She’s likeable enough, but she has her flaws like everyone else.  She even has a crush on a boy.

She’s also falling apart on the inside.  Rumors.  Photographs.  A party.  Things for Hannah spin out of control, until she feels like giving up.  Until she needs to the world to quit.  Until she needs to quit the world.

Enter Clay.  Hannah’s crush, who happens to have a crush on her as well but was shy.  Until a party.  Now, it’s over.  All that’s left are the tapes.

Full disclosure, I saw the television show before I read the book.  I’ve spent the last few days explaining the differences to my hubby (who saw the television show but won’t read the book), so I’m not going to bother y’all with all the differences.  They don’t really matter.  Thirteen Reasons Why lived up to my expectations.  Though short in length and covering a lot of time and memories, Asher still manages some hardcore character development.  We know Hannah.  We don’t necessarily love Hannah, but we don’t hate her.  We know Clay.  We like Clay, even though he can get on our nerves occasionally.  And, like Clay, we have to wonder why.

There are only two things that kept this novel from being a five star rating.

  1. The map.  My edition has a copy of Hannah’s map on the inside jacket cover.  Only, the map isn’t accurate.  It’s kind of close, but not really.  And that bugs the crap out of me.  If you aren’t going to take the time to do it right, don’t include it at all!  It ruins the suspension of disbelief in the story.
  2. Clay’s internal monologue while listening to the tapes.  I didn’t mark any specifics (I should have), but some of his comments didn’t feel realistic.  He’d be super upset while listening and then a minute later have a completely rational thought with no trace of emotion.

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