Audio Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

thirteen reasons whyThirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razor Bill
Age Group: Teen
Source: Library
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen 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.

My Thoughts

Thirteen Reasons Why was a book I was pretty sure I didn’t want to read.  I was absolutely positive it was as wonderful as everyone said, but I was also positive that the book would be way too heavy for me.  I know so many people talk about how they felt all the feels while reading a book, and they are so happy that a book made them experience so many emotions.  But that isn’t something I usually want in a book.  I mean, I want to feel emotions, but mainly I like the funny, wonderful, happy moments.  Not the I’m going to tear out your heart Temple-of-Doom style, and grind it into the ground emotions.  It’s just that it is soooo hard to come back from that.  Well, for me it is.  I’m depressed for a week, and I can’t sleep at night, and I’m miserable all around.

I don’t know why exactly I decided to pick up the audiobook for this one, but I saw that it was available on Overdrive, so I borrowed it.  I started it because I didn’t have anything else, but from the moment Clay began his narration, I was hooked.  Thirteen Reasons Why is very suspenseful despite the fact that we, the readers, know how it ends.  Like the title says, this is a book about why Hannah did what she did.

The dual POVs in this book flow brilliantly, and I must say, it works so well as an audiobook.  There are two people voicing Clay and Hannah’s voices, and I actually think it is easier to listen to than read because of this.  Not that Thirteen Reasons Why doesn’t read beautifully as a print book.  The way Asher shows how all these seemingly small incidents grew into this huge ball of discontent for Hannah is amazing (and heartbreaking).  It makes us all take more care with how we treat people, because we never know what’s been going on their life.

My heart ached so many times for Hannah and Clay.  I wanted to somehow give them each a huge bear hug, and to tell them that it will be alright.  The scene where Clay learns why he is on Hannah’s tapes – I can’t even explain how my emotions were all over the place.  Asher wrote that scene to perfection.  There were, of course, some of the other characters that I wanted to hurt.  And I’m not a violent person.

I don’t want to give anything away to the few people who haven’t read this one yet.  But what I want to say: is you need to read this!  You emotions will be all over the place, but it is worth it.  In fact, I loved this book so much that I went out and bought myself a copy.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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9 Responses to Audio Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

  1. I remember seeing this book and the blurb but not paying it much attention, looks like I need to rethink that. Great review, Quinn.

  2. Christina says:

    Fantastic review. I have heard such good things about this book, so I am glad you enjoyed it. It seems VERY emotional, so I will have to wait for a good time to read this one.

    • Quinn says:

      Yeah, you do need to be in a certain mood to read this one. But also, I think if you start it, it will help put you in the right mind set.

      It’s sort of gradual – the intense emotions, I mean.

  3. I really want to read this book! With the exception of one or two people, everyone keeps mentioning what a powerful story this is – perhaps all the more powerful because readers are aware what happens to Hannah from the beginning, as you mentioned. Emotional reads can be a good thing, as long as I’m prepared for them. Glad it worked out so well for you! I’ll definitely be checking out this book at some point soon!

  4. Heidi says:

    Yay! I’m glad you loved this one, Quinn. I don’t usually go for negative-emotion type books either, but this one is so powerful, especially on audiobook. I think because of the tapes, it works better in that format. I think this book made me more angry than anything, but it certainly made me a fan of Jay Asher’s work.

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