Thirteen reasons why [sound recording] by Jay Asher

  Chris  Review by:  Chris

Title:  Thirteen reasons why [sound recording]

Author:  Jay Asher

Collection:  Downloadable Audiobooks

When Clay Jensen pushes play on the first tape in a set of tapes that were mailed to him anonymously, he is shocked to hear the voice of Hannah Baker, a girl from his high school who committed suicide recently, a girl Clay has had a secret crush on for years.  He is further shocked and even hurt when he learns that Hannah has sent these tapes to the people she holds responsible for her act…. well, aside from herself.  Does she blame him?  Clay doesn’t feel that he belongs on the list, but he must listen to all of Hannah’s stories if he wants to learn where he fits in.  Truth be told, I probably would not have liked this novel if the entire thing consisted of Hannah blaming others for what is ultimately her own choice.  Certainly, that part of the book is handled well.  Hannah makes it clear that what might be harmless fun to one person can have a detrimental effect on another, and reader Debra Wiseman does an excellent job of capturing the anger and pain in Asher’s writing.  The combination made me wonder how many times I have carelessly said something or done something to another person without really thinking about what it might mean to that person?  However, it is not Asher’s intent to point fingers and justify Hannah’s suicide.  That’s why Hannah’s is not the only voice in the novel.  As Clay listens to Hannah’s stories, we get to experience his reactions too, and reader Joel Johnstone expresses his feelings perfectly.  Clay is hurt because despite all the wrong that Hannah receives, he would gladly have helped her if only she hadn’t pushed him away and kept him at a distance on more than one occasion.  Hannah never told Clay when she was alive the things she puts on the tapes, so Clay only learns about them after it is much to late.  He still cares for Hannah, but he is not willing to forgive her for leaving without even taking a chance on happiness.

This title is available for download at:

Teen Read Week is an initiative of the  Young Adult Library Services Association(YALSA). Teen Read Week started in 1998. This year’s theme is Picture It @ your library®, which encourages teens to read graphic novels and other illustrated materials, seek out creative books, or imagine the world through literature, just for the fun of it. Libraries across the world celebrate Teen Read Week with a variety of special events and programs aimed at encouraging teens to read for pleasure and to visit their libraries for free reading materials.

To help celebrate, the Allegany County Library System Collections Blog will feature books that teens will love to read!

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