Blogging B&N.com's Teen Must Reads: Thirteen Reasons Why
Catch up on the entire series right here!
Synopsis: Clay Jensen comes home from school to find a package that turns his life upside down (because mysterious packages in teen novels don’t seem to do anything else). Before his crush Hannah Baker took her own life, she made a series of cassette tapes. The tapes explain that there are thirteen reasons why she committed suicide, and since Clay got the tapes, he’s one of the reasons. As Clay crisscrosses his small town listening to Hannah’s voice he learns some things he’d rather not know about his classmates, and by the end he himself may be changed forever.
Is this a “must-read”?: I’m going with yes.
Why?: Thirteen Reasons Why is impeccably written, asks some tough questions about how we view others and ourselves, and it’s more than the typical teen suicide story. Hannah is not always particularly likable, but we all love a flawed character, and I think most of us can relate to at least some of what she was feeling. Most of the plot holes are filled in some way, and Hannah and Clay’s perspectives blend gorgeously. We get two different perspectives of each character introduced: Hannah’s and Clay’s. Besides being an easy way to give your characters depth, it underscores one of the major themes of the story: you can’t possibly know what’s really going on in someone else’s life.
Another important theme is the “no man is an island” idea. In fact, that theme is so important it’s probably the message of the entire book. The people on Hannah’s list had no idea that their actions impacted her the way they did, and we pretty much all live our lives that way. This point is also emphasized by the fact that most of Hannah’s reasons were the kind of thing we’re just told to “walk off”, but it’s tough to walk anything off on a broken leg.
Basically, if you have the chance to do something nice for someone, do it, and if you have the chance to be a jerk to someone, don’t. And if you have the chance to read Thirteen Reasons Why, read it.
Post by dac213!
Have you read this book? It sounds heartbreaking to us!