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Thriteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Front cover of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
Front cover of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
photo (c) thirteenreasonswhy.com

YOU CAN'T STOP THE FUTURE. YOU CAN'T REWIND THE PAST. THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN THE SECRET . . . IS TO PRESS PLAY.

Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead, he reasons. Her secrets should be burned with her.

Then Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes--and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town . . .

. . . and what he discovers changes his life forever.

(c) Back cover, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, http://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Reasons-Why-Jay-Asher/dp/1595141715

CLAY JENSEN'S FIRST LOVE RECORDS HER LAST WORDS.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--her classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

Hannah's voice explains that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. if he listens, he'll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself--a truth he never wanted to face.

(c) Inside front flap, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, http://www.thirteenreasonswhy.com/

REVIEWS

"Thirteen Reasons Why is a mystery, eulogy, and ceremony. I know, in the years to come, I will often return to this book." --Sherman Alexie, author of the National Book Award Winner, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

"A brilliant and mesmerizing debut from a gifted new author." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Breakneck pace and dizzying emotion." --School Library Journal

"Readers won't be able to pull themselves away . . . " --Publishers Weekly

"Eerie, beautiful, and devastating." --The Chicago Tribune

AWARDS AND HONOURS
A New York Times Bestseller

Young adult fiction, ages 16-21; hardcover, 304 pages.

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Clay Jensen comes home after school one day to a box sitting on his front porch. When he opens it, he reveals seven tapes, each side labeled with a number, one through thirteen. In the garage, he finds an old radio that played cassettes, and he puts the first one in to try and find out what it's all about, because if he doesn't, there's going to be a severe consequence.

Hannah Baker's voice comes out of his stereo, and Clay is overwhelmed. She'd committed suicide two weeks prior. But as he begins to listen to the tapes, he finds out that there are thirteen reasons that Hannah killed herself, each involving someone that he knew. She guides him all over the town with a map that's drawn out on the backside of the cover to the hardback copy, each place Clay journeys to, marked with a star.

He listens to try and find which of the reasons involves him--for he wouldn't be listening to the tapes unless he had something to do with her death. He's drawn into the tapes from the first one, finding it remarkable that he still has some sort of contact with a dead girl. But as he continues to listen, the reasons for her death get worse and worse, and the reason that Clay is on the tapes doesn't happen until he's over halfway through--his reasons is one of the worst.

When he gets to his own tape, he's shocked, and can't keep himself from getting sick. What he finds out about himself tears him up on the inside, and after hearing what Hannah has to say, he'll never be himself again. Clay was always the nice boy--he'd never thought he'd have been a reason for a girl that he used to have a crush on to kill herself. But some things aren't always how they seem.

This book was compelling from beginning to end, and it's impossible to put down from the first page. Being told from both Hannah's voice in the tapes and the thoughts in Clay's head, the reader is able to hear both sides of the story, and learn exactly why Hannah decided to kill herself. The reader follows Clay around their small town from place to place, learning how each had some sort of impact on Hannah's choice to commit suicide. This was a spectacular novel from beginning to end; a phenomenal debut from Jay Asher, and a movie-to-be.

Overall Rating; A+

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