Audiobook Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Joel Johnstone (Narrator), Debra Wiseman (Narrator)

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 heart-rending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

I don't normally listen to audiobooks (big mistake!) and I don't read contemporary YA much either.
Well, that is probably about to change, because this was an incredible experience. I was inspired by Priscilla at the Readables who listened to this audio-book in June. She liked the idea of listening to a book where the main character is listening himself to something. And she was right!

You know how it's said that society makes you desire things you really don't want, and it tells you who and what to like, how to dress, what to eat, and even what nail polish to put on your toes? In other words, there is this constant pressure from society on an individual, and for whatever reason this can be especially applied to (American) high-schools. Everything is very shallow and fake, there is no room for truth. And of course this influences everyone's behaviour. And this is exactly what this book is about. About how a weaker (and maybe even a stronger) individual can be step by step destroyed by other people's behaviour. It's shown through a story of a girl who was unfortunate and experienced many bad episodes, was used, stalked, overlooked, witnessed terrible things, and when she asked for help, she was practically refused. So when she decided to end her life, she let all the wrongdoers know they were one of the thirteen reasons why she committed suicide.
Yeah, it was pretty sad and depressive story, especially when you let yourself wonder how many times has your own behaviour influenced other people's lives.

It might look like Hannah was the main character, but I think Clay was the main focus here. He was the one who understood what Hannah's story was all about and who let it transform him. He was the one who became stronger and stopped caring how his acts will be perceived by others. He was the one who made sure Hannah's history won't be repeated. Both Hannah and the author put hope into Clay. Hope that maybe there are people who after listening to Hannah's story would think that probably we should care less about all the superficial sh*t and for a change do something honest and truthful.



Isabelle said...

I love Priscilla. Booktubers in general are really amazing. (CassJayTuck is another of my favorites.)

Anyway, I have this book on my bookshelf, but I'm saving it for later, because I like to hear sad books on audio. I find that all sad books are super amazing on audio (Before I Fall, If I Stay were AMAZING on audio.)

It's nice to know that this book gives a strong message (stop thinking about superficial shit, haha). Will try to read it soon!

Petra said...

She is great! :) (OK, I'll watch some of her videos then! Thanks for recommendation! :))

I hope you'll like it, but maybe you'll find something else in it than I did. (Have to try those, too!)

Haha, I know this review was a bit dramatic, but I guess it fits the book. :)

miscellaneous said...

This one has been in my wishlist for a couple of months now. need to get my paw in it!


DMS said...

This sounds like a very powerful book. I have heard about it, but have not had a chance to read it yet. Great review.

Petra said...

I think that in this case listening to this book rather than reading made the experience even stronger.

Haraiah said...

I'm very eager to read this book. But when I went to the bookstore to buy a copy, there wasn't any left. Still waiting for my order to arrive. Great review! I'm hoping to read this one sooner.

Petra said...

I hope you'll enjoy it! :)

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