Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Challenge criteria: A book recommended to you by a spouse/sibling/child/parent/BFF.


You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and first love – who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

Hannah’s voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening – and what he discovers changes his life… forever.

Image via Goodreads

What I liked:

This book shows, in a very impactful way, just how much your actions can influence someone’s life. From (let’s face it, pretty degrading) cat calls in school to the harassment that followed.

It isn’t the way I experienced this, but I think this novel would work fantastically as an audio book. That way, one would really feel they were sat in the shoes of everyone on the list, listening to the damning reason of a young woman who’d had enough.

What I didn’t like:

There’s a lot of misogyny in the early stages of this book, such as the sexual harassment, and the narrator’s claim that Angela was

“not bad, just not mesmerising”.

The sudden changes in narrative, littered throughout the novel, were quite tough to keep up with at the best of times. It could have been laid out better.

Out of five?:

Three. It’s an interesting book, but the writing was quite messy and made the book quite difficult to read.


2 thoughts on “Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

  1. I gave the book 3/5 too. I had really high expectations for this book after hearing so much about it, but was pretty disappointed. I too felt the novel could have been structured better, and I don’t think it dealt with mental illness in a convincing/realistic way. I found myself getting quite annoyed at some of the characters, and was not able to relate whatsoever

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