I’m delighted that Sharday Preyer has agreed to join us today with her thoughts on Jay Asher’s gripping Young Adult novel, Thirteen Reasons Why.
Sharday is the former editor of Street Breeze, a teen newspaper, where she wrote book reviews and various other assignments. Her book reviews will appear on this blog quarterly. Welcome Sharday. I’m so happy we’re working together again.
Thirteen Reasons Why: A novel by Jay Asher
High-school student Clay Jensen sees no reason why today day should be different from any other day.>That is, until he opens the package left at his doorstep—a normal shoebox containing very abnormal cassette tapes.
The package seems to be from Hannah Baker. But it can’t be. Hannah is DEAD!
Clay listens to all 13 tapes included in the box as a lost girl tells an ill-fated tale of sorrow that leads to suicide. While listening, he discovers that Hannah sees him as having a role in her death. She has cited several others as being partially responsible, as well. While telling her story, Hannah also names places that have meaning in the events that led to her decision. At her suggestion, Clay visits each site. When his journey is finished, he must decide if he should do what Hannah asks of him, which is to forward the tapes to the next person identified as being accountable for her death, or to turn the tapes over to the police.
The theme of Thirteen Reasons Why is that every action has an equal reaction. Sometimes these reactions can be devastating, as in the case of Hannah who felt driven to take her own life. For others like Hannah, there are no tapes to tell their stories, just tears and heartbreak for those left behind.
I love this novel and recommend it to readers of all ages. The author pays great attention to the details of the teenage mind and maintains a level of tension that pulls you to the edge of your seat.