Ya know what? Fuck the maths exams. I’m doing this.
As I mentioned in my last post, last week, I read Thirteen Reasons Why. I had bought it at the previous Bookyard and I couldn’t wait to finally read it. I dropped Adultery because it was downright boring and started it.
I was immediately sucked in. A dead girl sending cassettes to those who made her take her own life? GEEZ!
It was really such an original concept, the kind that just makes you want to find out more. Instead of chapters, each part of the book was a different side of the cassettes. I mean even if the story was a horrible mess, I think I’d have read it.
The good thing was, the story was not at all a horrible mess.
It talks about a teenager, Clay Jensen, who one day found a box of cassette tapes on his doorstep, numbered 1 to 13, with no explicit instructions. He popped the tape numbered “1” into the player, and was welcomed by the voice of Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush, who had commited suicide two weeks ago. She said that there are 13 reasons why she killed herself, and if he listened through all of the tapes he’d find out where his part in her story comes. He then will have to mail the tapes to the person who follows in the story, just like the person who preceded mailed them to him.
Clay then embarks on a journey, wandering through town, following a map Hannah had left him before her death marking all the ‘hot spots’ in her story, while listening to every tape and learning more and more about why the girl he once loved decided to take her own life.
This book was by far one of the best I’ve read in a while. The story is unbelievably compelling. I could literally not put it down. During the two days it took me to finish it, I had rehearsals for a show the school was putting up. The book was constantly with me and I read as much as I could between every break, so much I wanted to know what happened next. If you’re looking for a thrilling read, definitely pick it up.
And the message. God. It will make you rethink the whole way you treat everyone around you. Everything you do, every little thing you think is insignificant, can change someone else’s life forever. And this is not forever in the exaggerated sense, which I totally despise, but in the literal one. As in, that person could die, and they’ll stay dead forever.
Hannah’s reasons, taken apart individually, might seem like everyday life issues to some. “Not worthy of suicide”. But put together, they really tell a heart-wrenching story that has happened countless times before and is happening right now.
Each and every one of us could be Hannah. Everything that happened to Hannah wasn’t a product of special circumstances. These are things that happen in our every day life, that we often overlook. Spreading a stupid rumor. Throwing a hurtful joke. Rating people on their appearance. Using someone for your own benefit. (Along with many other things I will not mention to avoid any spoilers)
Reading this book will make you open your eyes and notice all the small details, and all the people affected by them. And you will know what to do about it.
And if you’re on the other side of the road, if you’re relating to Hannah, it will make you realize that you are not alone. You’re never alone. And you’ll always find someone who cares.
The last couple of chapters made me very emotional. And the author couldn’t have gone with a better ending to get the true message through.
In the subsequent few days, I found myself inexplicably sad. But it was a good kind of sad. You know it, the beautiful kind of sadness, that you don’t want to let go, that makes you want to cry while listening to Lana Del Rey and looking at old pictures.
That’s how that book made me feel. And I BEG you, if you have read any books that made you feel the same way, PLEASE recommend them to me. Because I’m craving that feeling.
Finally, this book should be a must read. Everyone can benefit from it, and I’m going to lend it to as many friends as I can. Jay Asher did a beautiful job, and it’s a shame he doesn’t have a lot more novels to his name. I recommend this for all of you, and I hope this novel will strike all the chords it struck with me.