Today I'm reviewing "Thirteen Reasons Why" By Jay Asher.
What a joyous occasion this is to be able to review this wondrous book! I'm actually crying from excitement and totally not from the fact of that this book reduced me to a blubbering hot mess.
This is the Blurb!
"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."
Let's begin! :)
So...of course, I accepted. I did get a slight spoilery from her :D Now, initially when someone tells me that I'm going to "Cry my eyes out into little puddles of feels" I don't. It's a simple fact. I watched the Notebook with this unimpressed look of Is this a part where I'm meant to cry at? because all I feel right now is how much I want to devour that piece of chocolate and let it become me...
So when Mara told me exactly that, I wasn't quite sure I would. The subject at hand is very emotional, and hard to talk about while keeping reverence for those who have committed suicide. Oh yes, news flash, she does commit suicide. I'm sorry if that was news to you, because I did share with you the blurb which states that fact. Soz.
I'm that type of Bookworm that, if I borrow a book from someone, I feel obligated to read it as quickly as possible to give it back to them as shortly as possible. I don't like it when others hold onto my books for centuries, but that's mainly because I don't do it and I go out of my way to not do that! It's not a huge issue, but one of those little bugs that eat at your mind...so it took me about a week to finally grab it and think OKAY I CAN DO THIS because I had actually been reading One Day by David Nicholls still (Review coming for that shortly!). So as soon as I can, I tried to get into it.
First off, the book cover is different. I'm very judgey about covers with dramatically posed girls in long dresses and doing something that relates to the story somehow. It's an instant recipe for my immediate dislike for whatever great story you might have. I'm a cover-judger...we all do it, but some of us actually have the guts to admit it. You do not look at a disgustingly comic-sans, clip-art cover of a book and think - "If I don't read this right now, I might explode into pterodactyl shrieks of pain and anguish" yah just don't, kay?
I like the cover, but then again, I don't. I love simplistic and minimalistic covers, or ones that are symbolic (VERY VERY SYMBOLIC. OH DAT SYMBOLISM!) so this one didn't really grab me, or make me consider not eating for a week to buy it for myself. I'm sure the fan art for this book cover could have been done better than this one.
Covers aside though, what was contained inside was much bigger. It completely grabbed me, because I read it in a day. I almost felt like this in a way when I began -
What I really loved about her was that she was flawed, she had weaknesses and there were times where she grated on you. I love that, because it's real. You're never going to meet someone who is this perfect character, who has no flaws and no weaknesses and everything is roses and sunshine and chocolate. People are cracked. Pieces of paper that are crumpled and lined with scars. I absolutely adored Hannah, so that's why her story made my heart ache so much. I completely understand the teen years and how they can be some of the worse years of a person's life. Teens can be, and sometimes are, monsters. We wish others won't tease us, mock us, use us, or treat us differently, and yet we go right back on that and do it to others. In that aspect, the book was so real for me.
Now, Clay Jensen. I liked how realistic he took everything. There are so many books where something completely out of the ordinary and something that a NORMAL person would freak out at, and they just accept it as reality and move on. Clay Jensen was a realistic character. He cried, he felt anger and malice towards those who hurt Hannah in some way, he had real interactions with others around him. None of the interactions made me laugh from how poorly done they were, or how hard you could tell the author was trying to channel into their youthful years. I admired Clay for how he dealt with it all, and how he'd continue to deal about what he just learnt about. If I had someone I loved dearly commit suicide, then leave me a note explaining how important I was to them, and what part I might have played in their decision or life, I don't know what I would do. I would probably think about it everyday, and wonder why I never did anything...but for Clay, that's his part. To move on, to realise what happened and accept it...and I think that is such a hard challenge to face.
The writing style of Jay Asher was amazing, and very easy to read. It flowed so well, and I could tell the distinct difference between the POVs of Clay and Hannah. Sometimes in books, if they are multiple POVs, they get messed up VERY quickly. Each character was so different, spoke differently, and were separate. I commend Jay Asher on that, and wish I could read more of that style in future books that include multiple POVs.
I have said in past reviews and anyone who has heard me rant about books has heard me state - "I have only ever cried in one fictional book...and that is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak" - I hold that fact in high esteem because I simply don't cry that often at fictional stuff. When all is said and done, and I close the book, a part of me will always be with it but then something inside my head clicks and I know, deep down, that it's fictional. It's not real in a sense. So, that's what makes it easier to detach myself from the book (And attach myself to its Fandom #BOOM)...but for this book, there was no detaching. When something becomes that real for you, and you start seeing yourself in the characters, your experiences in their memories, and their feelings...this book takes on a different meaning.
I finished at 3:00am, in my bed, where I just proceeded to cry continuously from about the last 2 chapters or so...
I'm sure my mum came into my room to hear my sobbing and just saw me like this -
I would rate this book 8/10, as it isn't as good as The Book Thief, which was a solid 9/10 for me...I'm not sure if I'll ever find a 10/10 book, but we shall see ;)
Now, my favourite quote from the book -
“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.”