What would you do if you would receive a shoebox packed with cassettes recorded by your first love? Oh don't jump to conclusion just yet. Let me re-phrase it. What would you do if you would receive a shoebox packed with cassettes recorded by your first love, who actually committed suicide two weeks ago? There are clear instructions to follow with one destination! There thirteen stories, thirteen people, who have an influence and were reasons why your first love committed this unforgettable act.
And here is where we are meeting Clay. Clay's first love Hannah, a girl he always fancied and would love to get to know better, unexpectedly committed suicide two weeks ago. But Clay finds a strange package sitting on his doorstep. Firstly excited, he takes it home and unwrapped with it a horrifying discovery. The box is full of tapes which Hannah recorded just before she took her own life. And the tapes explain thirteen reasons why she did it. And this is where the book starts. We follow Clay on an emotional journey of finding who and why had an influence on Hannah's decision to take her own life.
THIRTEEN REASONS WHY is a debut novel written by American author Jay Asher. It was published back in 2007 and instantly became New York Times Bestseller.
I have only discovered this novel couple weeks ago while browsing through Instagram. (Good old social networks, ey?) Straight away the plot caught my attention and the book found its place on my TO READ BOOK LIST. And two days ago I purchased this novel and started to read it immediately.
First impression counts. Lovely silver book cover with picture of a sad girl (Hannah) on front. Back is even more interesting as it's a brief summary of the story, which immediately causes to get your attention.
The story. Amazing. Emotional. Wonderful. Remarkable. Tremendous. Definitely make-you-cry story. We are listeners of Hannah's sad story and we slowly discovers why she made the hard decision to leave the world on her own. Clay is a such wonderful character who is on the journey on his own trying to find out why Hannah included him on the list of people who caused her decision. As you read on, you will start to discover your own feelings and evaluate everything you have ever told or done to other person.
Mr Asher takes up on a very difficult subject which is even now a tabu in public. SUICIDE. Bullying. Gossip. We don't even realise how much we can hurt a person with one word, one action. Or we don't pay enough attention to see the sighs that something is not right. That the person is begging us for help, but instead we kick them even further.
I love Asher's style of writing. We follow Clay's story and the journey he is on while listening to Hannah's tapes. And in the same time we are listening to Hannah's story. All the way through you just want to scream : "Someone, please, help her!" Even when you know that we are too late. Even Clay is late.
One this I also find very interesting is that you can actually listen to Hannah's tapes online on hannahsreasons.blogspot.com . I have listened to couple of them and to be honest I do not like the voice and the tone the girl who recorded these tapes. She sounds to happy. Not melancholic at all. The girl doesn't sound like a girl who is prepared to take her own life. I think that needs fixing. So it's more believable.
This book is captivating. I was not able to put it down. All I wanted was to finish Hannah's and Clay's story. I wanted tofind out what reasons made her to take her own life. I wanted to find out if Clay is one of the reasons. He seems like a such a nice guy and he truly liked Hannah. What has happened there? Why did she send him those tapes? Why is he on the list? I have read this book within two days. And at the end, once I finished the last page, I just sad in silence and thought about everything and nothing. I thought about my life. My friends. My family. I thought about the possibility that maybe I had hurt someone the same way. Maybe not on purpose. But as Hannah said: "EVERYTHING EFFECTS EVERYTHING."
I love this novel. It touches up on subject we so scared to talk about it. It takes you on very emotional journey which makes you evaluate everything in your life.
Please, do me a favour, and read this book. It will open new horizons for you. As the back of the book says:
"You can't stop the future. You can't rewind the past. The only way to learn the is secret....... is to press PLAY."