May 15, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Ships Launched: 781
Pages: 288
Publisher: Razor Bill
Year Published: 2007
Genre: Tragedy/Horror/Contemporary Fiction
Synopsis:Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 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. 

Holy crud muffins.
I avoided this book for a really long time. I thought it would be depressing and creepy and sad and terrible and heart breaking. 
I was right.
After avoiding this book for years, a friend of mine recently convinced me to try it. She said that it was one of those must-reads, something that she thought everyone had to read sometime in their life. I value her opinion very much, so I agreed to try it.
I can see how people have described this as life changing. This was such a powerful book. It was so heart-wrenching  and...
I don't know. It just left me feeling empty.
I remember crying while reading one book. Only one. Out of the hundreds I've read, I can recall crying for The Book Thief. That's it. The thing is, I don't cry for utterly devastating books. When I read one of those, all of my emotions disappear and it's like I'm in a feelings coma. I can't cry. It's like everything has been sucked out of me. It feels like I will never be able to feel any emotion ever again. When I finished this book, that's how I felt.
Thirteen Reasons Why deals with a lot of hard topics. And by a lot, I mean a lot. Suicide, rape, depression, bullying, you name it. 
I cannot say that I enjoyed reading this book. It was a painful and agonizing read. I physically shuddered and my jaw dropped in horror at every single twist and turn in the book.
Because the book is from Clay's point of view as he listens to the tapes, everything is brought to a new level of horrifying. You read about his reactions to everything, and they make the horror so much more real and terrible. His reactions show you that her tapes aren't just a story that she tells. Her tapes affect all of the characters' lives.
But, yes, it was an amazing book. It was so well-written and beautiful and sad and moving and, well, life changing. I don't know how to describe it. 
Read it. No, it won't be fun. You won't laugh in delight. You won't smile because everything is just so darn cute. This is a beautiful and torturous book. Just trust me on this one. Read it.
              + 20 - Clay - I loved Clay. I loved him so, so much. Oh, Clay. Adorable, innocent, cute, shy, lovable, good guy Clay. That poor boy. I just wanted to reach into the pages, pull him out, and cry with him.

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