Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher

I have no business taking books out of the library when I already have so many books at home begging me to read them. But I heard about this book here, and when I found that my local library had a copy, I couldn't resist.

The premise is an interesting one, and quite unique. The narrator is one of thirteen people who Hannah Baker blames for her suicide. Just before overdosing on pills, she related her reasoning on audio tapes, which she then mailed to the first person on her list with instructions for them to successively pass the box of tapes on to each of the twelve subsequent people.

The writing isn't stellar, and I found myself not really believing that, #1, Hannah was actually depressed enough to kill herself (just judging by her tone on the tapes which, while perhaps bitter and alienated, didn't really sound suicidal), and #2, that her thirteen reasons were adequate to put her in that frame of mind. Ok, at least two of the thirteen were pretty harsh, but the other eleven . . . not so much. (Ironic thing is, I bet that is exactly what all thirteen people would have thought, too.) But neither of these things kept me from breathlessly flipping the pages. It's definitely an absorbing story.

The book does have a good message, too, which I hope that any teen reading it can recognize: be vigilant, and be kind.


Priya Parmar said...

wow, what a timely book. sounds like it would be utterly addicting despite the so so writing. i love the way you combined 'vigilant' with 'kind'.

i am also so looking g forward to your coming soon list! i love anna karenina and just read the new edition and loved it even more and i have never read the thornbirds even though i live down the road from the famous house where it was filmed.

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

I've seen folks raving about this book too. The premise does sound interesting but probably one I would rather read a review of than actually read.


Kelly said...

I read this last year and really loved it :)

Becky said...


I have to admit that this book doesn't sound like something I would enjoy reading, but it was a good review.

I found your blog through the blogger hop and I will follow from now on :-)

Book Quoter said...

Discovered you though the blog hop.

I hope you like Middlesex and Shadow of the wind as much as I did. I have to check out all the other books on your list too. One of my most favorite book is Bel Canto. I'm always excited to see how people react to it.

L said...

I finished this book earlier this week, I wasn't that impressed by it myself. I thought that the idea was good but didn't follow through. Like you I didn't think that her reasons seemed suicide "worthy".