13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher (audio)

Thirteen-Reasons-Why-936170This is a reread, so I will include spoilers in this mini-review. I originally read this book about two years ago, when I’d first started getting into YA. I loved the book, which made me think a lot about suicide and the consequences of our actions. This time, I didn’t enjoy the book as much. Don’t get me wrong – it was still good – but I didn’t love it. I reread the book specifically for the audio experience. Clay’s sections are read by one reader, and as he listens to Hannah’s suicide tapes, her reader speaks instead. I thought the idea of listening to her just like Clay listened to her would be a way to get deeper into the book, and it was, but in going deeper, I noticed a few things that bothered me. They weren’t about Hannah, who seems to bother many people. The problem was with Clay, and that he was on the tapes at all. These tapes were Hannah’s 13 reasons to kill herself, but Clay doesn’t fit. He’s the one “good” character, and of course, we’re hearing from him rather than one of the others. How much more interesting this book might have been had Clay also done something, even unintentional or unrealized, to hurt Hannah! Having him be the one good guy…well, it feels like a cop-out on the author’s part, honestly. Maybe it’s not, but in a way, I felt a bit cheated. Perhaps I missed that in my first read because I read it so quickly, and I was so much more invested in the characters. But on second glance, it made me uncomfortable, and the experience was not as wonderful as I’d like. Still, I did love the listening experience. Both readers (Joel Johnstone and Debra Wiseman) did a fantastic job.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
This entry was posted in 2011, Prose, Young Adult and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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