Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

In case you have been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you may have 13 reasons why.jpgmissed the overwhelming success of the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why.  13 Reasons Why launched on March 31st, streaming all 13 episodes at once.  It was the most tweeted about show in history; that is pretty insane.  However, along with its wildly huge success, it is also shrouded in controversy.  But, before we get into that, we need to remember that 13 Reasons Why started off as a YA novel.

Back in 2007 when Thirteen Reasons Why was published, Jay Asher was an unknown debut author.  The book had won several awards, but it was not until 2011 that it hit the New York Times Bestseller List.

The synopsis of the book is that Hannah Baker had committed suicide two weeks earlier when Clay Jensen returns from school and finds a mysterious box on his doorstep with no return address. When he opens the box he discovers cassette tapes numbered 1 thru 13. Clay soon discovers that he has received these because he was one of the reasons that Hannah decided to take her own life. Through this harrowing night, the reader will discover who the other people were that led Hannah to her demise.

I first read this book in 2012 and was not sure what to expect.  I thought the premise was so original and really dark.  Once you see how things build up for Hannah you will have sympathy for not only her, but for Clay as well.  The Netflix series really does a fantastic job at watching Clay go through the tapes and how he deals with his involvement in her death.  I believe anyone, teen or adult, should read the book itself.

(Michelle Colbert, McGirt-Horton Branch Library)

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