Saturday, July 05, 2014

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

I have finally gotten around to reading this much talked about novel for young adults. I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed in it.

Hannah baker has killed herself. Took some pills and never woke up.

Clay Jensen has received a strange package: a shoebox full of audio cassettes. When he plays the first one, he hears the voice of the newly deceased Hannah Baker.

Hannah, with the use of outdated audio technology, lists the 13 reasons why she is about to kill herself.

Clay, as someone who liked Hannah, is destroyed by these tapes. Readers? Not so much.

For me, Hannah never gave a solid reason why she intended to kill herself. Some of the reasons were pretty nonsensical.

I don’t think that the author, a male, really nailed the female voice of Hannah. As a reader, I also couldn’t quite understand why Clay was so devastated by Hannah’s death. He only kissed her once. This all came off as quite flimsy to me.

Suicide is too serious a subject to trivialize in this way. Shame on you, Mr. Asher.

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