Thirteen Reasons Why:

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Thirteen Reasons Why:

Post by Unit7 on Fri May 06, 2011 1:41 pm

.I am not entirely sure when this book popped up on my radar. However I do remember making a choice about a year ago. I was at Kmart and needed something to read. I had come to the store for a different book but I remember seeing 13 Reasons Why. Only wanting to spend about 20 bucks, and realizing three books would put me over that limit. Though perhaps I should have gone over it. But I walked away with two great books anyways. Since my Internet is down I decided to finally give this book a read(now considering I was acquiring a few episodes of SGA in questionable means, one can say I am slightly paranoid at the moment. Been awhile since I really booted up uTorrent... coincidence? I think... yeah probably)

Thirteen Reasons Why is a story about two main characters. Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen. After coming home from school Clay finds a shoebox wrapped in brown paper with a 7 Cassette Tapes. Each side having a story Hannah Baker want's to tell. The cassette tapes are narrated by her as she recounts and makes the connections between the first story and her final message.

The story starts off with Clay sending the shoebox to the next person on the list and after that we quickly learn that Hannah Baker had killed herself a couple of weeks ago or so. In each of the 13 stories we learn exactly how Hannah ended up killing herself. She explains that she has made two copies of the tape. One set is to be passed on from one person to the next until each person has heard the tapes. The second set is to be released to the public if any of them fail to pass on the tapes.

The story follows Clay as he listens to the tapes and follows the Map that was given to him prior to receiving the tapes. He listens as Hannah recounts her first kiss all the way to the very end.

The story narrative is a bit confusing at times. At first this annoyed me, but as I read I learned to appreciate the blurring between the narratives. Not sure who is actually talking or not. Though I must admit it might be slightly different in the actual book. I have noticed that sometimes ebook formats tend to suck and when you get by borrwing a copy from a 'friend' also adds into things.

However if this is not how it was meant to be read then that sucks because it's all the better read for it. In a lot of the places it almost seems like they are having a conversation. You are never given any real indication as to who is speaking. Is it Hannah from the Tapes or is it Clay?

Now it's not all like that. A lot of it is from Hannah, but sometimes Clay has something to say in the middle of it and it becomes all blurred. It doesn't help that the entire thing is in Fist Person. So maybe it's the format of the ebook or maybe not. But I enjoyed reading it like this. Especially when it appeared that Hannah and Clay seemed to be talking to each other.

I also enjoyed how you are kept in the dark on what Hannah has to say about Clay. We know he is on the list, and you know from the start of the book that after listening to the tapes he feels like complete shit. So everytime we got to a new story I was right there with Clay wondering if his time had finally come.

Now as the story unfolds a certain theme keeps popping up. Everything effects Everything. The Ripple/Snowball/Domino/Butterfly(thought I add this one in because of Rex and recently watching Doctor Who. Though I forget which episode it is. Might have been with Martha Jones's first time going back in time. Something about stepping on butterflys)

Anyways! This whole book is one giant ripple effect of one rumor. Everything leading up to the end was in someway shaped by this one rumor. For this I should be kicking myself for. If I could go back in time and buy this book when I had the chance I would. Last time I was there they were out of copies or no longer carry the book.

You see if you know anything about my tastes is that my all time favorite theme has to be the Ripple Effect.

The first story, not much of a spoiler by the way, follows Hannah and her first kiss while in Freshman year. She has been dreaming about this kiss with Justin for awhile. She's excited and gets Justin to meet her at a park, because it has a similar playground thing back in her old town and ultimately it reminds her of innocence. What better place to have her first innocent kiss? Or something.

This is where the rumor begins. Justin goes on to tell his friends that something more happened. A harmless rumor. Which because of this rumor her life takes a different turn of events then what she expected. Guys see her differently, including Clay, who has a bit of a crush on Hannah. Guys see her as an easy way to get laid and everything really does just get worse and worse.

At first I thought the reasons so far and the stories seemed rather petty. Well I suppose having a peeping tom isn't exactly petty. But I just couldn't see how she ends up killing herself. But then the more I read and the more I made the connections and how everything was slowly stripped away from her. The more I sympathized.

Lets put this way. To fully appreciate the book I guess you are going to need to step into the characters shoes and see the neighborhood from their perspective.

On a side note. I don't think I can ever say taking a step into someone elses shoes without picturing Scout... I think that's her name, from To Kill a Mockingbird standing on Boo Radley's front porch and replaying the events of the book in her mind.

But if you look back on how everything mentioned on the tapes you can easily link them back to that stupid rumor. It starts off as a guy bragging about something that never happened to something truly tragic.


Now for the most part you only really get to know two characters. Hannah and Clay. Well I guess that's not entirely true. We learn something important about everyone on the tapes. Each of the revelations about these characters are rather sickening. (well maybe not all of them.)


Now I liked Clay. What I found really tragic about this entire book is that Clay could have easily saved Hannah. Now here is spoiler time. Ok not really spoilers.

I loved how it seemed like every time Hannah described herself in a poor way, Clay would mention that she was wrong. He also had a genuine interest in Hannah from almost the second Hannah moved to town. Except he had heard the rumors about what happened between her and Justin and how the rumors grew. Because of these rumors he would get nervous when anyone was around when he talked to Hannah. He was scared of what they might think of him. He also thought she was more experienced them he was, and wasn't sure if she would be interested in a guy like him. Or something like that.

But if he had just manned up and talked to her, really talked to her, things may have ended up completely different.

But all of what she went through started off with wanting an innocent first kiss and a dirty rumor. Could have certain events have played out in a similar way? Maybe. I can easily see some of the events taking place regardless, but in these cases I would have to say it was that rumor, that eventually placed her near and around these unchangeable events that effected her and perhaps even gave her the strength to alter them.


One last thing. I also loved how towards the end Clay is trying to plead with one of the people on the tapes. He also sorta explains whats happening during the event that pushed her over the edged. How whether she realized it or not she recognized the danger and she went ahead with it anyways. He describes it as her wanting her world to completely collapse around her.

But I was right there with Clay almost begging one of the characters to do something.


All in all it was a really great read. Well I enjoyed it.

Which is all that mattered.


Last edited by Unit7 on Wed May 11, 2011 8:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Thirteen Reasons Why:

Post by Hannah_Banana222 on Sat May 07, 2011 11:22 am

Okay, I think I need to get this. Do you know the author?

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Re: Thirteen Reasons Why:

Post by Unit7 on Sat May 07, 2011 12:47 pm

Hannah_Banana222 wrote:Okay, I think I need to get this. Do you know the author?

The author is Jay Asher.


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Sometimes, late at night, I sit here and I wonder. The things I wonder vary from night to night. Sometimes I wonder about the stars and other nights I wonder about what tomorrow will be like. But recently I have been wondering what my life would have been like without you...-Samantha Greene

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Re: Thirteen Reasons Why:

Post by Rex on Wed May 18, 2011 11:11 am

I really love ripple effects but doesn't seem too much up my alley. Still if I see it on the torrent I might really give a quick read

By the way speaking of Ripples here is an interesting movie. It's a movie from the POV of a twenty dollar bill Smile


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