Spoilers: Thirteen reasons Why By Jay Asher

This is a spoiler page!  Do not read unless you have the book and care to discuss Thirteen Reasons Why in more depth!


Let me just say – wow.  Hannah’s story made me at times angry with Hannah – and I know that is probably ridiculous.   I wanted her to talk to someone – anyone.  Just open up and yet I know that author Jay Asher covered all that well.

She had no close friends.  The ones she tried to bring close to her failed her time and again.  The boys were…. in most cases…. boys.  The teacher that she finally chats with at the end really blows it big time.  She thinks she might talk to Clay but that just doesn’t happen that way she (or he) had hoped.

As I write this I still have all these players – all these characters – swirling around in my head.  I think what sticks with me most is that this is a fictional story that could easily be real.  I had a friend in high school who you would never have seen this coming for.  She seemed for the most part happy, or as happy as I would say most of us were in High School with our lives centering around what we thought was life and death situations:  boys and friends.  When she made her attempt (and thank God it wasn’t successful) none of us had seen it coming.

One of the last things in the book is when she winds up in the hot tub with (his name escapes me right now).  A little more graphic than I like in my reads, but at the same time this part of the book shows Hannah just letting go.  It doesn’t matter anymore and you can see this change in her.  How sad nobody else did.

I would love to read your thoughts on the book.  What did you think of the characters?  Was there one that you felt could have been the one to change the outcome by acting differently – who and how so?

  1. I just finished this book last week. I haven’t written my review yet. I loved it. I left me raw and emotional. I could see how the chain of events left Hannah feeling like she had no other option.
    I think the first event (the rumor) is what started it all. Being a new student that develops that kind of reputation has got to be heartbreaking. Especially when it’s completely untrue.
    I felt so sorry for Clay. I could only imagine how he felt when he got those tapes and saw what each of those people did before him. I was happy to see that he reason for being there was not like the others.
    It’s a very powerful books that I think does an excellent job of showing how a persons action effect someone else.

    • Good point Page – I had forgotten that it all started with that rumor. Hannah was new to the school and trying so hard to make friends and fit in. Rumors are so painful.

      I always felt Clay was good right from the start. He was written well… I remember trying to imagine what he possibly could have done that had hurt her.

      I totally agree with you on the power of this book and I am so impressed with Jay Asher taking this topic and making it readable and so well written.

  2. I really loved this book. It was one of my favorite books from last year.

    • I can see why nanscorner. As much as I read there are few books that really stick with me. I mean I remember books and what they are about, but few really keep me thinking and this one does.

  3. I just finished listening (in the car) to this book. I feel that it would have had more of an impact reading it as I would not have easily put it down. With that said, I did feel Clay’s desperation while listening and his frustration, self-chastisment for not helping her more than he did. I screamed while listening when Hannah was talking with the teacher at the end. What an idiot. The best thing to do when you are not sure what a person is really telling you it to get them help and err on the side of caution.

    • Nise, now I really want to listen to this on audio…. I was so frustrated with that teacher too…. UNBELIEVABLE!

      On Jay Ashers website he has wonderful inks and information on signs to watch for. I was impressed how he handled himself through a very touchy topic.

  4. Sheila, I was excited to see your Spoiler button, cool idea.

    So this was my review on Thirteen Reasons

    I have to be honest, I think I am to old to enjoy this one. Also, if I had a teenager I would not want them to read it. It was sad, depressing and at times just didn’t make sense but as a whole I understood how some teenagers may think suicide is the answer. And I love emotionally sad stories, this is why I think I am just to old for this specific story.

    And it was a little confusing to me though, she seems so intuitive, so bright to consider suicide to be the end, maybe I can’t get passed that.

    I love the message in the book – you have to be careful of your actions because you never know how someone will react and the consequences.

    I am unsure who to recommend this one to but for me I realised I may stop reading the young adult books, it is hard to put myself in the mind frame of a teenager again. I will defnitely read them when my 3 year old wants to start reading YA books though.

    I guess this is not much of a review and I hate to only give it a 3 but I didn’t really enjoy it. I felt sorry for Clay who received the tapes. I also really wanted to know more about her parents, their reaction etc.

    (I have read others reviews and most loved this story. I could never recommend it to a teenager because I think the book shows suicide as a choice)

    • I had questions for the parents too Marce. It was sad to see them so uninvolved, yet I have to admit when my boys were teenagers I was surprised how little some of their friends parents had to do with their kids.

      I dont why this book hit me so powerfully but it did.

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts here – I love the spoiler button too ;)

    • Yes, Marce, I agree with you that Hannah seems too intuitive and bright for suicide. And for her to leave it in the hands of the teacher in the end without his knowing seems ridiculous to me.

      I’m a writer, and it bothers me when any part of a plot seems implausible. The thing that really got to me was that when she got to the reason for Clay, there was none. I call this “cheating” on the writer’s part – a misrepresentation. I would hard to make everything fit – this didn’t. It was ridiculous.

      I will say that teenage girls overdramatize, so that part rings true. They do think that every little slight is the worst thing ever – they don’t get that ‘this too shall pass.’ But I didn’t find Hannah likeable. That’s okay, because you don’t have to like the characters, but I didn’t really feel for her all that much. Maybe it was because she seems too intuitive and bright to end her life.

      I love the premise of this book and was excited to buy it for my son when he saw it in the bookstore. He feels the same way about it as I do – that it’s a great premis, but not executed well.

      Marce, you are never too old for a YA novel because a good one is simply like any good novel but with teen protagonists. I invite you to read my book THE GIRL NEXT DOOR – adults love it as much as teens. What matters is how it’s written. We can identify with any life that rings true – this is the beauty of well-crafted words.

  5. I wrote a review for this book. (or shall I say I tried to?) I wish I could write great reviews, but I don’t. I will take a chance and post my thoughts here anyway.
    I did put a bit of a synopsis in my review but since you have already read it, I will leave that part out. OK here goes…..

    As someone that has lost a loved one to suicide, it was an emotional read, but a great read nonetheless.

    I felt many different emotions over the course of this book. I felt sympathy for Hannah, and also for Clay. I was angry with some of the other characters from the tapes. And I was also a little upset with Hannah. It seemed like she just expected people to know how she felt, without ever getting close enough to anyone to share her feelings.
    Even though I felt some sympathy for some of those that are forced to listen to the tapes,(mainly Clay and Tony), I also felt a little jealous. I kind of wished Ash had left something to help with all of the unanswered questions we were left with.

    This is a great novel. I believe the author to be very talented, as it was all so realistic, and I truly felt like I knew Hannah. I look forward to reading more from Jay Asher.

    Feel free to review my review…..lol

    • Thanks Marilu for your thoughts here! :) Some reviews are hard to write and I find I do best if I just write it out like I am sharing my thoughts with a friend. If a book makes me passionate about it, its easy for me to roll out my thoughts… if it makes me angry…. those are actually easy to write too…. it s the ones that you really feel nothing for – those are the ones is struggle with. :)

  6. I knew you had reviewed this a while back and I knew you loved it but didn’t remember what you had wrote. Nor did I enter the Spoiler page. I waited until after I had written my review to read yours because I wanted my thoughts to be my own. I think it would be interesting for Jay to write a sequel with each chapter again representing one of the thirteen, but to find out their reaction to the tapes and if they felt remorse (some of them I’m sure did not-jerks!) and how they changed after Hannah’s suicide. We’ve already seen that Clay reaches out at the end to Skye, but do the others make any effort at all?

  7. Hello! I’m a 16 year old girl from Norway and I just finished this amazing book. I think it’s a good reminder for everyone to choose our words carefully and take care of the people around us. I completely understand the book and I’ve seen the reviews some have given, and I totally agree. I just wanted to ask you; what’s the deal with Skye? I mean like.. what did she have to do with Clay and Hannah? I hope I can get a fast answer, since I’m discussing this book in my upcoming english exam. Thank you so much! :)

  8. It just confused me a little that mr.porter was number 13. At the beginning of the book she said number 13 could take the tapes to hell with them. Did hannah dislike mr.porter that much? I thought the number 13. person did something much worse. I get that he was her last chance of hope and he denied her that, I still don’t think he should’ve been number 13

  9. I also had some questions about the ending. I just didn’t get it. What did skye have to do with anything?

    • Hi I’m Alina, I’m 14 and I recently had to read thirteen reasons why for one of my summer reading assignments and I’m glad that I chose this book because it was a very inspiring ad emotional book from start to finish.
      I feel like skype acted like clays second chance. He had had liked both girls in the past (Hannah and Skype) and in the middle of the book clay mentions how Skype is kinda quiet, shy, stays in the down low, and maybe not everyone knows about her, so in a very small way kinda like Hannah, and when clay listened to the tapes and realized how he let Hannah slip away and how he let her drive him away he didn’t want that to happen again with anyone else, so he remembers about Skype and he is grabbing that second chance and trying to make the right choices and try to makes things go the way they should go, so they don’t end with another “Hannah backer”. To me I agree to what everyone said but I also feel like the theme also brushes on the idea to not let your chances go, and I think this because clay always mentioned how he talked to Hannah and how he liked her and if he knew her feeling towards him he would have probably helped her out more, and made her feel like she had someone to come to, and since he stayed quiet, and out of the way, he realized his mistake, but he realized this when it was too late. And he didn’t want to make that mistake again. So over all I think it’s about not waiting till the last second where it’s TOO LATE to take your chance, and go get it.

  10. Hi Sheila,

    Just stumled upon this review, and I too love your spoiler button. GREAT IDEA!!!

    I wrote pretty much everything I thought about the book in response to Marce, below.

    I’d be interested in what you think about other teen “death” books.

    Selene

  11. HI Selene! I just responded to your comment under Marce’s…. I am reading your book currently. I also read and reviewed Before I Fall….. that is another one that has a teen death in it… I am sure I have read others, I guess Twenty Boy Summer also has a teen death in the beginning….

    Thanks about the spoiler button – I love it too :D

  1. Pingback: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher « One Persons Journey through a world of Books

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (3/5). Its heart is in the right place | Taking on a World of Words

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