If you haven't noticed, I only write reviews (which really aren't reviews, just recommendations) on YA books that I enjoyed reading. There is no reason to waste any more time than necessary on books that don't hit the sweet spot for me. So, I don't talk about those books. Besides, who am I to put negative energy into the world against someone's work? Writers spend hours and years perfecting their art and it's such a subjective thing to not like it. What I may not like, someone else will love.
I was fully prepared to NOT write a review for "TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY" by Jay Asher. Because my expectations were so high, I figured there was no way that it could live up to them. Well, after reading it and then thinking about it, I decided to write the review.
This is a debut novel and has been on the top sellers list for over a year. It won gobs of awards and praise from super-star authors and has a cool cover and all that jazz. It's a book I had picked up a billion times at the store to put back down out of fear of it being too depressing. Finally, I bought it at Powell's and then read it.
** SPOILER ALERT ** (sorta)
The reasons I hesitated to post this review don't add up to thirteen, but only one. I couldn't figure out the purpose or what the author intended the reader to gain from it. At times, it felt like the author wanted the reader to dislike the dead girl, Hannah. I'm a pretty compassionate person, but found myself yelling at Hannah to ask someone for help, to be blunt and not so coy about it. I was very disappointed with her at the end. So, I wondered what a reader was supposed to learn from this type of character.
I think this book is more for the Clays of the world. It creates awareness so all of us Clays can spot the Hannahs and show them compassion, understanding and friendship when they are trying to reach out and nobody else notices. Sometimes that's all it takes to save a life. Friendship and compassion.
It can be for the Hannahs, too, though. I don't want to spoil any more by saying what they may or may not get from this book; I just want to now say it may change their mind.
Rating: CHECK IT OUT
This is a good book written by an author who reads his emails and takes the time to answer them in detail. I think he's a bit rad.
SYNOPSIS from the website:
"Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several 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."