Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Published October 29th 2012
Who knew all it took were 13 reasons to take her own life?
If you're looking for a grappling page turner, look no further. This book is for those who can handle the seriously twisted, the psychotic maniac, the troubled individual who took her own life, and is now haunting those responsible for her actions through a series of tapes.
Th1rteen R3asons Why is the debut novel by Jay Asher that was released in 2007 and made it to the New York best sellers list at #1.
This book is one of those types that, once you start reading it, you cannot put it down. It's almost like entering into a new relationship - you want to learn everything you can about your new beau.
Asher has a great writing style - it's easily readable, simple, short and highly descriptive - all in one.
Clay is the character who is introduced to us on the first page, and he is portrayed to be in some form of shock, stress and heavy regret. He seems to be returning a box of cassette tapes that was sent to him anonymously. The tapes contain the words of Hannah Baker - a fellow classmate who, not too long ago, took her own life, leaving behind unanswered questions.
The plot of this story almost put me off - a story of a suicide? There's nothing sadder than dealing with a person's inability to seek help and see them take their own lives as the only option to escape whatever problems they face.
But that's the beauty of this story - Asher has an eclectic way of narrating a story in first-person and third-person. Transitioning between Clay's confusion and concentration to Hannah's tapes and back has been worded to perfection.
Dual narrative is a very difficult writing technique to employ, especially in one's very first novel that is possibly going for worldwide publication, but Asher seems to have mastered that effortlessly.
One may sense a lot of confusion when progressing with the book - what's going on, and how does Clay fit into all this? But, as we get further into the story, we start to realise that Clay isn't a minor character as he believes himself to be in Hannah's life.
Asher has also subtly presented a serious issue - the issue of suicide, especially among the younger individuals through this story. It makes you think of how little things can have a huge impact on those who are vulnerable and considering this dangerous option.
For a debut piece, Asher has outdone himself, and has won a large reader-following. He has achieved great success through this attention-grabbing story, and his words flow so smoothly.
Don't wait any further - get your hands on this book and read the story of Hannah Baker and feel the guilt and remorse that Clay experiences towards the end of the book.