Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why-Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay Asher
Razorbill, Jun 14 2011, $10.99
ISBN: 978595141880

The box outside his family home was addressed to Clay Jensen. Inside are seven audiotapes with numbers on them. Nothing else is inside. He plays the first tape in which Hannah Baker starts musing about herself. Hannah Baker committed suicide and on the tapes she recorded the Thirteen Reasons Why. Each of the “Baker’s dozen” on her list is to listen to the tapes before sending it on to the next culprit. If someone fails to meet her terms, Hannah has a public backup plan to embarrass those who led her to kill herself. Clay wonders why him as he was nice to her and she rejected him. Still he listens trying to learn why him before he forwards the tapes to Jennifer.

This is not an easy read for obvious reasons, but is handled deftly by Jay Asher. The story line rotates between Hannah’s telling her story and Clay’s attempts to figure out why she added him in the mix with the others who were nasty to her. Character driven, Thirteen Reasons Why makes a strong case for people to become involved especially with those who are down and need a friend; even if they reject your overtures try again and again for it takes a caring community to prevent the taking of one’s life.

Harriet Klausner

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