Jun 1 2009
Dear Mr. Asher,
Not too long ago I wrote a review for this site, my first review. I’m a writer not a reviewer but that book moved me, almost unbearably. At the time, I couldn’t imagine another book moving me as much.
I stand corrected.
Your book, THIRTEEN REASONS WHY . . . where do I begin? I’ve been trying to figure that out for hours, trying to figure out how to tell the readers here only enough about the plot to make them read it, because once I say too much, many of them are automatically going to say Not For Me.
But this book IS for them, it’s for everyone. Yes, it’s a Young Adult. Yes, it’s about forbidden topics, especially for teens. Yes, there’s death, a tragic, horrible death. A suicide, actually.
Sounds depressing to say the least, but stick with me on this. I write romances for a living, contemporary romances with a guaranteed happy ending. Always. When I watch a movie, I demand the same. When I read, even more so. I am a sap, a light-weight, happily-ever-after needing reader.
This book wasn’t close to that. And I couldn’t put it down.
The book opens with our protagonist, a well-liked, smart, kind high school senior Clay Jensen, as he receives a box of cassette tapes. They’re from Hannah Baker, a girl he’s crushed on for several years. Hannah recently withdrew from everyone without a word, and then, the unthinkable. She committed suicide, leaving behind the tapes, which are her thirteen reasons why she did what she did. It’s through these tapes that the reader gets her story, and the people who affected her, who brought her to this point in her life.
I loved that we listened through Clay’s ears, loved that as he experiences and comes to understand the truth, we see it change his life. And as hard and unbelievable as it is for him to grasp, it actually changes his life for the better.
What I want to say to the readers out there is this. Read this book, it just might change your life, too. It might make you think about your daily actions in a new way. It might make you think about someone other than yourself, or about how you affect others. And it just might make you turn to someone in your life and say something that needs to be said, like "sorry" or even "thank you".
Just as I want to say "thank you" to Jay Asher for the amazing, clever, strong, deeply profound read. My grade – a solid A.
When she’s not reading, USA Today bestselling romance author Jill Shalvis is at work on her next novel. INSTANT GRATIFICATION is in stores now. See her daily blog for more details, her crazy mountain adventures, and contests.