YA Favorite: Thirteen Reasons Why

Have you ever had a book keep you up all night? A book that was so gripping that you just couldn’t bear to put it down? That happened to me, and the book was Thirteen Reasons Why (©2009) by Jay Asher. Teen Clay Jensen comes home from school to find a brown paper package on his doorstep. Inside are seven audiotapes, crudely numbered in nail polish.  Clay puts the first tape in his father’s old cassette player, hits play, and hears the voice of Hannah Baker. Hannah Baker, Clay’s classmate and sometimes-friend. The girl who Clay had had a crush on for longer than he could remember. The girl who recently committed suicide. Hannah explains that there were thirteen reasons why she chose to end her life, and that everyone listening to these tapes is one of them. Clay can’t believe what he’s hearing, so he keeps listening. He spends the night following Hannah’s instructions all over town, trying to unravel the mysteries she left behind, all while falling even more in love with her, mourning her, and learning to let her go. Thirteen Reasons Why is a powerhouse debut novel. This book puts the reader right into Clay’s head as he goes on a raw, emotional journey guided by Hannah. You experience his love and loss firsthand in this haunting drama. Thirteen Reasons Why is a book that will make you cry, laugh, and think.

Due to some disturbing content, my age recommendation for this book is 14+.

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  1. This is a must read for teens and parents of teens. Well-written, gripping, and heart wrenching. Do not pass this one up.

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