Sixteen year old, Hannah Baker, is a sophomore in high school when she commits suicide. Two weeks later, Clay Jensen receives a shoebox containing seven cassette tapes left from her on his doorstep. As he listens to each one, the mystery of how they ended up there and the thirteen reasons why she killed herself are revealed.
Jay Asher’s book Thirteen Reasons Why spins a chilling tale of the issues that teens face today with a plot full of twists and turns. Initially written for young adults, its content is rich enough to keep even adult readers spell bound. From the moment I started reading this book, I could not put it down.
The story is a reminder of how delicate our interactions are with one another and that depression is an incredibly real issue. We capture a glimpse of Hannah’s attempts to reach out for help, the opportunities missed by those around her, and the chain of events that cause her to take her life. With every tape’s transcription, the reader uncovers one more piece of the puzzle and gains insight into her tragic decision.
Originally published in 2007, Thirteen Reasons Why remains on the Top 10 Bestsellers for Young Adult Fiction and is recommended for ages 12 and up. I recommend it for all teens and any adult looking for a fast read with a gripping storyline.
Past Book of the Month articles: