This is the book I have seen in Waterstones a million times, always picked up, always read the blurb and then put it back down. Until I went to buy ‘Love Letters to the Dead’ and realised if I bought this book I’d get it half price. Well, I can’t resist a bargain and I’d been interested in the book for a while, I just hadn’t read it.
Clay Jensen returns home and finds a strange package with his name on it. Inside there are several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and first love, who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself and that Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
It didn’t take me long to get sucked into this book. I’m so glad I had it on a quiet day at work because it really helped pass the day. It’s one of those books that makes you want to keep reading so you can find out what’s going to happen next, which is strange considering when we start reading the book all the events have already taken place.
Clay and Hannah are two characters that I really liked, especially Hannah. At times she was slightly irritating but also honest, interesting and you spend the whole time just hoping that things are going to turn out differently even though you know they won’t because she’s already dead. I think Hannah Baker is definitely near the top of the list of my ‘favourite book characters’.
What I liked about this was that it wasn’t just the tapes and Hannah’s story. We also had Clay, his relationships, his side of the story and his own memories going along Hannah’s. And it was never thrown in your face either, there was never so much going on that you couldn’t follow what was happening. Okay, sometimes the story would switch back to Clay when you were extremely interested in what Hannah had to say but that was to build suspense and it worked really well.
If this wasn’t good enough, on the back of the book is a website where you can go to listen to the tapes in person which I thought was absolutely awesome (hannahsreasons.blogspot.com) which I only started listening to after finishing the book. I wasn’t too sure about her voice at first but now I like it. I can imagine it really is Hannah.
Now as you probably already know I hate romance and you can clearly see from the blurb that this book has romance (just like every other YA book…). But honestly, the romance didn’t annoy me. The relationship between Clay and Hannah was quite small and didn’t make me cringe in any way which was definitely something I enjoyed. I did get a tiny bit annoyed when we finally reached Clay’s tape but you’ll have to read it to understand. Then you can see whether or not you agree with me.
Overall, this is probably the best book I’ve read this summer and I’d recommend it to any of you. Seriously, buy your own copy or borrow a copy from the library or whatever. You won’t regret reading this book.