Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Book 31/30.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very compelling read that I found myself keen to return to whenever I put it down, but instead of giving it at least 4 stars I only gave it 3 stars. Here’s why.

Why it could have been 4 stars:
The author uses cassette tapes to tell Hannah’s story, something I found very unique and interesting. I also really liked the fact that although this was told from Clay’s perspective, he did not unnecessarily insert himself into the story by dwelling on his life outside of what we were made aware of on the tapes. I was also very eager to know who the “Baker’s dozen” were and I found each tape to be more compelling than the last, especially because of how the more names were revealed the more the story tied together.

Why I only gave it 3 stars:
I could not empathise with Hannah’s reasons for killing herself as many of them are things everyone has experienced at some point and people generally file those under “bad days” and do not kill themselves over it. I do not want to use the word shallow, but some of Hannah’s reasons were on the shallow side. I understand that more often than not people do not kill themselves because of one big thing, but rather because of a buildup of small things that culminate into an overwhelming, suffocating cloud of pain, hopelessness and despair. At that point suicide feels like the only way to make the overwhelming, suffocating cloud of pain, hopelessness and despair lift, which is what the author tried to do with Hannah. But as much as the author tried to show how everything built up for Hannah to the point she could not take it anymore, I still could not resonate with her reasons for choosing to end her life as some of them were on the (here comes that word again) shallow side.

View all my reviews

** A guide to ratings **
1 star – did not like it
2 stars – it was okay
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was amazing

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