- Fizzy Thoughts: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why

Friday, December 12, 2008


Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay Asher
October 2007
304 pages

Thirteen reasons why I like this book:

1. The set-up. Each chapter is one side of a cassette tape. Our main character, Clay, is listening to the tapes, and interspersing his own thoughts with the commentary from the tapes, which are being narrated by Hannah, who has committed suicide. Each side of the cassette tapes focuses on one person who affected the life of our dead heroine - and not necessarily in a good way. And the tapes are being sent to each of these 13 people so they can listen (and hopefully learn).

2. Jay Asher is a local author. Not that I know him or anything, but it's still cool.

3. I am convinced the Crestmont Theater in the book is our local Fremont Theater. Also very cool.

4. I am also convinced that the coffee shop is modelled after Linnaea's, another local hangout. When I was in high school it was cool (in a totally nerdy way) to drink coffee there. And I'm going to stop saying cool now.

5. There was good mixed in with the bad. Kudos to the author for not making a book on teenage suicide a total downer...not that it wasn't sad, but it wasn't totally devoid of hope.

6. As a former teacher of teenagers (not one of the highlights of my life), I think Asher did a fantastic job of capturing both the incredibly shitty behavior that teenagers are capable of and the fleeting moments of maturity that they also exhibit.

7. Which reminds me yet again why I'm glad I'm not a teacher. Thank you, Jay Asher.

8. Teenagers lie. They party. And they have sex. Asher tells it like it is.

9. Clay. I heart Clay.

10. Despite the occasional confusion of Clay's voice competing with Hannah's voice, the story sucked me in. Sucked me in, tied me down, and kept me from cleaning the house.

11. There's a website. And it has the map. (Hannah includes a map of places of significance in with the tapes that she sends to the 13 reasons why.)

12. When I was exploring the website, and Asher's myspace page, I saw lots of comments from teens. And while it's technically a YA book, Thirteen Reasons Why is getting all sorts of positive responses from people of all ages. I love books that transcend genre.

13. While this final reason is not necessarily related to the book, the author is also part of a joint blog, the hysterical Disco Mermaids.


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18 comment(s):

bermudaonion said...

This book sounds so good. I love the way you did your review.

Ramya said...

i want to read this book right away! it sounds really interesting! And your review was totally innovative and cool;)

Ti said...

At this busy time of the year, the format of your review is right up my alley. Quick and to the point. I heart you (too cute).

chartroose said...

I think it's cool that you thought the novel was cool. I mean, that's, like, cool, ya' know?

Since Jay Asher is a local, I think you should stalk him and commit suicide on his front lawn. This would show Paula Abdul that you support and care for her, and it would also show Mr. Asher that you appreciated his novel.

God, this is dumb! Seriously, I've been meaning to read this. Someday, my clone will come, and I'll be able to read twice as much!

softdrink said...

Chartroose, you're cool, too!

Ti...'tis the season for lists!

Ramya and Kathy - thanks. It is a good book, and a quick read, too.

Ali said...

Hey, that means you live near my parents!

I really liked this book (didn't review it, though). But, tell me: did you find Clay just a touch over-the-top melodramatic at times? Or was it just me?

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I loved, loved, loved this book. Want to keep it for my kids when they're older.

Ms. Bookish said...

This one is in my TBR. I think I will definitely need to move it up to the top! Great review.

Icedream said...

I'm glad I read your review. I spotted this one but didn't write it down and now you have reminded me to get this added to my wish list pronto. :D

jessi said...

I love the way you did your review. I also enjoy reading books set near where I live - it makes me feel more connected to the book when I can recognize the setting. I'll definitely keep an eye out for this book. :)

Veens said...

You won't believe ho hard i tried to get this book at a cheaper price.. but alas.. ti is very expensiv e:( I will have to wait till smeone here publishes it... a lil less costly.. or something :)

awesome review.. really love it :)

melanie said...

I loved this book too. I think anyone who reads it can learn a lot..and I loved Clay. I have sons and found a "good guy" character refreshing. :)

Ladytink_534 said...

I've seen this book everywhere but I'm very hesitant about picking it up...

Joanne said...

This is an awesome format for a review - you hit on so many good points this way.

I really liked this book, mainly because I heart Clay too. I'm glad that I could so empathize with him because I found Hannah such an unlikable character.

dawn said...

Great review format, softdrink!

I'm intrigued by this book. I've seen a lot of marketing promo, but yours is the first review I've read.

I think it's probably too old for my 12-year-old, but she must read all kinds of "mature" themes without me knowing it!

Ali said...

Dawn, personally I'd hold off on this one until 14-15, at least.

softdrink said...

Ali - small world...I'm in Morro Bay. Clay was a little annoying at first (and the scene in Tony's car!) but he grew on me. He definitely redeemed himself in the end!

Michele - I think it's a great YA book! Well, for the older crowd.

Ms. Bookish - send it straight to the top of the pile! ;-)

Icedream - ha, my evil plan is working. ;-) I have a list a mile long, thanks to everyone else's blogs.

Jessi - thanks! It seemed appropriate.

Veens - :-(

Melanie - hooray, a fellow fan!

Joanne - and I didn't have to think as hard, either. Okay, not really true, but it felt easier than complete paragraphs.

Dawn - I agree with Ali. I'd also read it and discuss it with her. It's got some pretty heavy themes in it.

Ali said...

You live in Morro Bay?! How cool is that? My parents are in Los Osos, overlooking the bay. It's so beautiful there, you lucky dog.

So: Yes, the scene in Tony's car! Exactly!!! But other than that, and the fact that I found Hannah to be a completely unsympathetic character (but I'm glad she was, in a way) I thought it was an awesome book.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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